The Milwaukee Bucks have told NBA Commissioner David Stern that when the team's lease at the BMO Harris Bradley Center expires in 2017 the franchise will have a plan that includes a new arena.

Stern made that clear Friday in a teleconference with reporters in advance of the NBA's playoffs.

Asked whether the NBA had imposed a hard deadline of 2017 to have a new arena in place in Milwaukee, Stern said: "The Bucks came to us and said we will have a plan that will have a new arena at the end of this extension of this lease. 'And will you please give us an extension and approve it?' And we did. That's the current state of the record."

The lease extension, which expires Sept. 30, 2017, was reached last fall. It is the longest lease between the arena and the franchise in more than 10 years and the first multiyear extension since 2007.

Former Sen. Herb Kohl was not available for comment. Ron Walter, the Bucks' vice president and alternate governor, said it was always clear that a lease extension until 2017 was a "bridge to a new facility."

"That was the understanding," Walter said.

Walter said the Bucks were working with Bradley Center officials and members of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the area's most influential business group, on developing a plan.

Asked whether he believed a plan could be forged, Walter said: "I'm an optimist. So sure," he said.

Nearly a year ago, Kohl said it was time for a new multipurpose arena in Milwaukee and said he was willing to make a personal financial commitment toward a new facility. He did not say how much but added that the amount would not be insignificant.

Kohl said in May that the Bucks were talking about "plans to get it done."

Asked whether Kohl was moving closer to disclosing his own financial commitment, Walter said more progress needed to be made.