On This Day in 1968: Milwaukee Awarded an NBA Franchise

The National Basketball Association originally awarded the franchise to a group of investors based in Milwaukee - headed by Wesley D. Pavalon and Marvin L. Fishman - called Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc., on Jan. 22, 1968. Pavalon and Fishman were named president and executive vice president, respectively, as the franchise was incorporated on Feb. 5, 1968.

An application from Milwaukee Pro was registered with the Wisconsin Department of Securities for the sale of 300,000 shares of common stock to Wisconsin residents at $5 per share. Because the issue caught public fancy, an additional 125,000 shares were offered when the stock opened on the over-the-counter market on April 24, 1968.

On the basketball side of the operation, the team went through both the college and expansion draft under the watchful eye of the team’s first head coach, Larry Costello.

A Janesville, Wis., businessman, Jim Fitzgerald served as a member of the Board of Directors of Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc., beginning in 1973. He assumed his position as chairman of the board and president of the Bucks in November of 1976 and held that position until the sale of the franchise to Herb Kohl in the spring of 1985. Kohl’s purchase ensured that the team would remain in Milwaukee, and he would go on to lead the team as president for 29 seasons.

In the News

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Back in Majors
Offer Fans 'Share' in New NBA Team

Lou Chapman from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article from January 23, 1968 highlights the moves made to keep basketball in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Granted Pro Basketball Team

Terry Bledsoe's January 22, 1968 article talks about the move to join the NBA.