For years officials from the Milwaukee Bucks team owner Herb Kohl and other city leaders have claimed that the city's downtown basketball arena is outdated and not fit for an NBA team. On Wednesday a top NBA official soon to be the league's top executive made the case clear.

“One obvious issue we all have to deal with is we need a new arena in Milwaukee” said Adam Silver deputy National Basketball Association commissioner speaking of the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Silver was speaking to a private audience at the “Bucks Partner Summit” in the Discovery World Museum Pilot House on Milwaukee’s lakefront. I attended the meeting at the invitation of the Bucks.

Silver will take over as NBA commissioner Feb. 1 2014 following the retirement of David Stern.

Silver said he supports the efforts of Kohl and the Bucks to keep the team viable and in Milwaukee. Silver in response to a question from moderator Matt Parlow of Marquette University said Kohl’s ownership of the Bucks is one of the team’s great strengths and that Kohl is committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee.

The Bucks and the Bradley Center have done well to reinvest in the downtown Milwaukee arena now known as the BMO Harris Bradley Center Silver said.

The naming-rights deal with BMO Harris Bank was one example of new corporate sponsorships garnered by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s “Champions of the Community” campaign announced in May 2012. Also the BMO Harris Bradley Center spent $3 million on upgrades unveiled last season that included suite upgrades a new hospitality bar and new theater-style seating sections.

Silver said he “just got a tour” of Milwaukee’s NBA arena and concluded it is too small and still falls short on amenities.

“At the end of the day compared to other modern arenas in the league this arena is a few hundred thousand square feet too small” Silver said. “It doesn’t have the sort of back-of-house space you need doesn’t have the kinds of amenities we need.

“It doesn’t have the right sort of upper bowl/lower bowl (seating) configuration for the teams frankly that Milwaukee wants to compete against” he said.