While we hesitate to give credence to what may ultimately be an empty threat, here’s something from the Milwaukee Business Journal that we’ll be watching nonetheless:
Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin told Wisconsin lawmakers Monday that time was of the essence in approving $250 million in public funding for the proposed arena in downtown Milwaukee or the NBA will move the team to another city.
At an informational hearing held by the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, Feigin said the Bucks owners’ purchase agreement for the team includes a provision that construction of a new arena start in 2015. If that does not occur, he said the NBA will buy back the team for a $25 million profit and move them to “Las Vegas or Seattle.”
Why should this matter to hockey fans? Well, because an NBA team moving to Seattle could spur somebody in that city to — in the words of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman — get their “arena act together.”
Currently, nobody has that act together. When investor Chris Hansen failed to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, it threw his arena plan into doubt.
An arena is already being built in Las Vegas, which is expected to get an NHL expansion team at some point in the near future.