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As Bucks Decision Nears, Racine Plans Arena

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After months of receiving pitches from various Wisconsin cities, the Milwaukee Bucks could soon decide on the home of their forthcoming D-League team.

At one point working with a list of five communities, the Bucks eventually narrowed their list to three in Oshkosh, Sheboygan, and Racine. For the last several months the Bucks have been considering proposals in these cities, and team president Peter Feigin recently stated that the team choose the franchise’s future home before Thanksgiving.

Racine has been making a prominent push for the team, proposing a downtown arena/hotel development that will cost about $46 million. Racine mayor John Dickert has been a vocal backer of the plan, and is now soliciting private partners to join the city on the development, with two-time NBA All-Star Caron Butler reportedly being courted.

While the Bucks have been as a major piece of the Racine plan, Dickert says it could happen with or without the Bucks. More from the Racine Journal Times:

But Dickert made it abundantly clear the Bucks’ D-League team wouldn’t be the principal tenant of the proposed Racine arena and, that if the Bucks opt to place their D-League team elsewhere, the project will still go forward.

Dickert insisted a minor league hockey team is his primary target.

“I don’t think people completely understand how big of a deal this is,’’ Dickert said. “They (the Bucks) can go anywhere; we’re trying to get them here.

“But this is not a Bucks-focused deal. If they don’t show up, we go after another minor-league team. The hockey team is the most important component to this deal. They have more nights and more people in attendance. That is our baseline.’’

Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leopold has been attached to the effort, as he has expressed interest in bringing a USHL franchise to the city.

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