Herd may move if arena’s future remains in doubt

Posted on May 7, 2020 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive
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The owners of the Wisconsin Herd said in a court filing the team may play its next season elsewhere if the financial future of the Menominee Nation Arena isn’t secured soon.

“Unless Future Bucks (owners of the Herd) can be assured that the arena will be operational, and the services required under the lease agreement will be provided, for all Herd games during the 2020-2021 season, then Future Bucks may be forced to secure an alternate venue for the Herd season and seek to terminate the lease agreement,” the organization said in a court filing related to the arena owner’s plan to avoid bankruptcy.

Future Bucks owns and operates the Herd under a franchise agreement with the NBA G League. The team began playing in Oshkosh in 2017 under a lease agreement that called for the arena’s owner to make payments based on ticket sales, concessions, parking fees and revenue from display ads at the arena.

Fox Valley Pro Basketball Inc., the arena’s owner, filed for bankruptcy in 2019 without ever making a payment to the Future Bucks, the team said in its legal filing.

While the Herd indicated it wants to stay in Oshkosh, it may not have a choice to move because Fox Valley Pro Basketball’s proposal to avoid bankruptcy could take several months to resolve. The firm has said if it can’t find additional financing by November for the arena, it will turn the property over to its largest creditor, Bayland Buildings Inc.

In Future Bucks’ filing, it said the team cannot wait until November to learn what will happen with the arena. If a decision isn’t made soon, Future Bucks will need to begin looking for a new venue to play in. The Herd needs to begin planning soon for its upcoming season.

“Because the Herd’s schedule is interdependent with the schedule for the other teams in the G League, Future Bucks works directly with the NBA and the G League to plan for the season,” the team said.

The next court hearing in the case is set for June 24.