Less than a week ago, Bucks president Peter Feigin told Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times that he expected the franchise to make a decision on a location for a future D-League affiliate “before Thanksgiving.” However, Feigin is less optimistic about that happening now, as Woelfel writes in a new piece for the Journal Times.
Although Feigin didn’t provide an explanation for the delay in the process or a new timeline for a potential announcement, Woelfel suggests that all three cities in contention to become the home of the Bucks’ future D-League affiliate – Racine, Oshkosh, and Sheboygan – are facing roadblocks.
According to Woelfel, Racine wants to move forward with a $46MM arena and hotel project, but funding remains up in the air. Racine County likely won’t contribute much – if any – money to the project, meaning it will rely on private investors. Mayor John Dickert said on Tuesday that he hopes to announce a financing plan for the proposed arena within the “next couple of weeks.”
Oshkosh officials would also like to build a new arena in their city which could house a D-League squad. However, an agreement with the land-owner for the proposed location has not yet been reached, and there may be environmental problems with the site, writes Woelfel.
As for Sheboygan, local leaders and officials want to renovate and expand the Sheboygan Armory, a venue built back in 1942. The city’s push to land Milwaukee’s D-League affiliate is being led by former NBA player and assistant coach Joe Wolf, but it’s not clear whether the Bucks view the antiquated arena as a viable option.
As Woelfel points out, it would likely take at least a year for any of the three cities to build or upgrade an arena, so the odds of the Bucks adding a D-League franchise for the 2017/18 season are growing increasingly slim. The club may have its eye on the 2018/19 or ’19/20 campaign instead. Currently, Milwaukee is one of eight NBA teams without an active D-League squad — another of those eight teams, Atlanta, has a deal in place to get an affiliate for the ’19/20 season.