MILWAUKEE - While talks regarding the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks continue to center on NBA legend Michael Jordan, local efforts to buy the team from Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl have foundered.
Potential investors and area business leaders, all of whom requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of their relationship with Kohl, have concluded that the price isn't right and that the team is a bad investment.
"The numbers are ugly," said one prominent businessman who, while expressing his support for Kohl, said he will not invest.
Since several months ago when Kohl said he would be willing to sell either a majority or minority interest, a small local group - all of whom desperately want the Bucks to stay in Milwaukee - has studied the Bucks' financial situation. Kohl is seeking more than $170 million for the team, a price considered too high by experts knowledgeable about the value of sports franchises.
The local ownership group has not made an official bid to Kohl. Absent any other bids, that leaves Jordan, a multimillionaire with multimillionaire friends, in the driver's seat.
That worries some in Milwaukee, who fear that despite Kohl's promise to find a way to keep the team here, someone like Jordan could find a way to move the team elsewhere.
One source who has acted as a facilitator of sorts with the local group said, "Time may not be an enemy here."