OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Herd's Oshkosh opener has been pushed back because the new Menominee Nation Arena will not be ready in time for Friday, Nov. 17.
The NBA G League team will instead hold the "Wisconsin opener" for its inaugural season at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
“Creating a positive experience for our fans, players and partners is our top priority,” said Herd President Steve Brandes. “In partnership with Bayland Buildings and the Menominee Nation Arena team, we’ve determined that we will be unable to meet the high standard NBA G League fans deserve in time for our home opener.”
The Nov. 17 game will be open to Herd season ticket holders. Buses will transport fans to Milwaukee from Oshkosh.
Wisconsin Herd Team President Steve Brandes added, "What we're going to do is we're going to bus all of our fans down. So all of our season ticket holders will be bussed to the first game courtesy of our team, and then they each, for every ticket they purchase, season ticket they purchase, they will receive a ticket to a Bucks game in the future."
The Herd will also play its Nov. 18 and Nov. 28 games in Milwaukee. These games will be closed to the public. Season ticket holders will receive a credit for all three games.
The team says it hopes to play its first game in Oshkosh on Friday, Dec. 1.
“The Menominee Nation Arena project has been an incredible display of hard work and collaboration, starting as an empty lot just seven months ago,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner. “We support the decision to host the team’s Wisconsin opener in Milwaukee to ensure players, partners and fans have the highest level of experience, service and safety. We look forward to celebrating with Wisconsin Herd fans at the Menominee Nation Arena home opener on Dec. 1.”
The $21 million arena has 3,600 seats.
Fox Valley Pro Basketball has a five-year naming rights deal with Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Menominee Tribal Enterprises, and Menominee Casino Resort.
Jason White of the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation worked on the project to bring the team to Oshkosh.
Also being a season ticket holder, he said, "Obviously, there's a lot of things in a project like this that are outside of our control and outside the developers, builders control. I think by and large the community is going to be very understanding of this."
When asked about the cause of the delay, Brandes said,"We were informed that there were a few things that would delay some of the production of the arena in getting it done to the G League rules and specifications and regulations for us to have the highest level of customer service that we expect or our fans expect."