Herd arena to be named 'Menominee Nation Arena'

Menominee Nation Arena on October 23, 2017 (WLUK/Alex Ronallo)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- The Oshkosh arena which will be home to the Milwaukee Bucks' minor league team will be called the Menominee Nation Arena.

That's where the G League Wisconsin Herd will play its home games.

It's a five year deal, but the tribe would not say how much money it's spending.

Members of the Menominee Tribe made Monday a very special day for a very special announcement. Traditional singers performed while flag-bearers presented the flags including the tribe's and the United States'.

"We're excited to be connected and to have our name associated with something of the value. That speaks volumes for the Menominee people," explained Gary Besaw, the chairman of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

The tribe bought the naming rights and formed a partnership with the team and arena leaders.

The Herd's president, Steve Brandes, told FOX 11 News the partnership will go beyond the name.

"We're going to be doing a lot of youth clinics and health and wellness programs for the nation of Menominee," he said.

The tribe chairman would not tells us the cost of the naming rights, but he did say this will help advertise the Menominee people and businesses like the casino in Keshena.

"This is an excellent opportunity with, probably, over 4,000 people within this metropolitan area, to be able to get our message out and to be able to market the Menominee name and the businesses that we work with," Besaw told us.

Tribe and team leaders told FOX 11 the move is also a spiritual one for the Menominee. They said Oshkosh is part of the footprint of the tribe's original ancestral lands.

"Being able to have that group, the Menominee Nation, come home to their ancestral lands is amazing," said Brandes.

"And Oshkosh is actually the name of one of our Menominee chiefs. He helped us negotiate a lot of the treaties, and whatnot, we had," Besaw explained.

The team's president told us the construction is on schedule even though opening night is less than a month away.

Right now, the Herd games will be at close to one-third sold out. 1,100 season tickets have been sold, with capacity at 3,600.

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