Plans submitted for Oshkosh basketball arena

Rendering of a proposed 3,500-seat arena in Oshkosh. (Image provided by the City of Oshkosh)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) - The group hoping to bring an NBA D-League team to Oshkosh has submitted plans to the city for a 3,500-seat arena.

The Bucks plan to have a home for its developmental league team for the next basketball season. Oshkosh is competing for that title, along with Racine and Sheboygan.

Fox Valley Pro Basketball Incorporated, the group advocating for Oshkosh, wants to build the arena on the corner of South Main Street and South Park Avenue, in the city's downtown.

The former Buckstaff buildings are currently being cleared from the site.

“The day the Buckstaff is completely torn down will be a day this community remembers for a long time, because it will mean the community has turned the page and its gone on to the next stage of redevelopment,” said Jason White, CEO for Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation.

A Planned Development Review application has been submitted to the city to build the arena. It would be built on the south half of the Main Steet property, with a 590-spot parking lot to the north.

“Looked at a variety of other high traffic, high visible areas, but we really believe this project is perfect for downtown,” said White.

The plan is part of a larger vision for more than $100 million in new development for a new district called the Sawdust District.

“There is stuff going on right now, but not to the magnitude that will happen when the Bucks come here, if the Bucks come here,” said Steve Cummings, Oshkosh’s mayor.

No one in Oshkosh is sure when the Bucks will announce its decision. However, people who've been selling Oshkosh to the NBA team since February say the arena plan shows the city is ready.

“The best thing we can do right now is, absent of an announcement, is to be as prepared as we possibly can, because until there is an announcement we are in a stage of competition,” said White.

“We assume it will come this way,” said Cummings. “We have no reason to believe it will not, but nothing is official.”

Even without a Bucks announcement, the city's plan commission is expected to review the arena application in January.

White says Fox Valley Pro Basketball Incorporated has more than 1,000 people committed to buying season tickets. White says that would likely put the team in the top 10 of attendance for the 22-team D-league.

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