February 08, 2017

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks will start an NBA Development League franchise that will play in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, beginning in the 2017-18 season.

The Bucks will become the 20th NBA club to own and operate a D-League franchise as the minor league grows to a record 25 teams next season.

Co-owner Wes Edens says the Bucks are demonstrating the team's commitment to building stronger ties to fans throughout Wisconsin.

Construction on a new Bucks arena is expected to be completed for the 2018-19 season. Public financing will cover $250 million of the roughly $524 million cost for the new building.

Oshkosh is about 85 miles northwest of downtown Milwaukee. The Oshkosh City Council has approved plans for a new 3,500-seat arena to be built near Lake Winnebago.

The city views the project as a new way to spur economic development, much like how the Bucks hope its new arena will help Milwaukee.

''I believe that Oshkosh's Central City is on the verge of a renaissance,'' Mayor Steve Cummings said.

A team in Oshkosh will make it easier for the Bucks to shuttle young players to the minors for seasoning. The Bucks in the past have sent players to D-League teams including those in Westchester County, New York, and Fort Wayne Indiana.

As part of the deal, Fox Valley Pro Basketball will construct the new arena.

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