Bucks scout downtown location for new arena, it's "on the very short list"

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Another downtown location has caught the attention of the Milwaukee Bucks' owners as they look for a place to build a new arena. According to reports, they're in negotiations to buy land just down the street, but it might not be enough space.

The Bucks will tip-off the home portion of the schedule Friday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. If the Bucks get a new arena downtown, it could be at the spot that's currently home to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"I think it's a good location; as I understand it, the Journal-Sentinel is not using the building as much as they used to, so it seems like it makes a lot of sense," said Bucks fan, Adam Brookman.

According to an onmilwaukee.com report, Bucks ownership is negotiating with Journal Communications. The deal would allow the Bucks to build in the land between 3rd and 4th Streets, and between Kilbourn and State.

"There's some truth to that but what we're hearing is it's not final. Certainly seems like they're on the very short list now," said Rich Kirchen, with Milwaukee Business Journal.

Kirchen, one of FOX6 News' partners at the Business Journal, says the Journal-Sentinels site had already been among the top 4 or 5 possible locations.

In a statement on Friday, the Bucks say:

"The ownership group continues to explore several locations in metro Milwaukee. We are still investigating several viable sites for a multi-purpose facility downtown. As the process continues we'll work closely with the community and city to select the best site."

If that site is the Journal Communications property, city officials say things could get complicated.

"The issue is I don't think the Journal-Sentinel block is big enough and they would have to spill over onto the arena," said Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman.

The Wisconsin Center District runs the Panther Arena and fiercely opposes the idea of tearing down the old Milwaukee mecca.

"They intend to continue business as usual so you're setting up a pretty significant political clash and I don't know how that's gonna be resolved unless somebody backs down," said Bauman.

If the Bucks did build a new arena, Major Goolsby's would also have to move. FOX6 News talked to the GM, she says it'd be tough to go, but they'd be interested in setting up inside the arena, similar to the Friday's at Miller Park.

Journal Communications officials did not immediately return our messages.