Bayland challenges arena’s reorganization plan

Posted on Mar 31, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
Posted by of Insight Publications

Bayland Buildings Inc. does not want the owner of Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh to receive an extension on filing its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

In a court filing, Bayland Buildings, which built the arena and is its largest creditor with an outstanding claim of $13 million, said Fox Valley Pro Basketball Inc. should not have until June 29 to get its reorganization plan approved by its debtors. Fox Valley Pro Basketball Inc. asked in early March for the extension. A hearing will be held next week on the request.

The arena opened in December 2017 and is home to the Wisconsin Herd, the G League team for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Bayland Buildings opposes the extension because Fox Valley Pro Basketball should not be allowed to make minimal payments on its debt “so that debtor can use what little cash it has to keep its sinking ship afloat.”

Owned primarily by Oshkosh financial adviser Greg Pierce, Fox Valley Pro Basketball filed its reorganization plan on Feb. 28. The plan rests primarily on its ability to sell off its rights to a future stream of city tax incentives in exchange for a large cash infusion now. The organization also was unable to find a long-term lender to take over the mortgage on the property from Bayland.

The Hobart-based contractor said in its filing that it disagreed with some of the information in the plan, including the arena owner’s claim that it is now running in the black, adding financial disclosures show the arena has a negative cash flow and declining cash balances. Bayland said those were the numbers before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of many events, including the remainder of the Wisconsin Herd season.

“Given Gov. Evers’ March 17, 2020, order regarding mass gathering restrictions, it is likely that debtor will not be able to make any adequate protection payments in the coming months,” Bayland said in its court filing. “Adequate protection payments” are sums paid to creditors to shield their collateral from a loss of value during the bankruptcy process.