The Herd's leadership discusses game change

The logo of the Wisconsin Herd basketball team is displayed at the construction site for its arena in Oshkosh June 27, 2017. (WLUK/Lauren Kalil)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- The Milwaukee Bucks' Gatorade, or G, League affiliate is supposed to tip off its first home game in about two weeks, but those games won't actually be at home in Oshkosh. They'll be played in Milwaukee.

Construction is going overtime at the Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, but instead of playing there Nov. 17, the Wisconsin Herd will be playing in Milwaukee.

"We're going to play our first game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. That'll be open to the public. We're going to bus season ticket holders down to the event," explained team president Steve Brandes.

So now the official home-opener for the Herd at Menominee Nation Arena is scheduled for Dec. 1.

"The silver lining to it is that they're going to get some time for training. We'll be able to provide a better experience for the first home game, which we expect to be a sell out," said Greg Pierce, the president of Fox Valley Pro Basketball.

Pierce told FOX 11 News construction on the arena has been smooth, except for some shipping delays along the way.

"The delays caused everything else to be pushed back," he explained.

According to Pierce, the project is actually still on pace to be done in time for the first game, but that it was a business decision to hold that game elsewhere.

"We probably couldn't give assurances that we were good to go until almost the 15th of November, only two days ahead of the game. That's just not professional," he told us.

So that's why team leadership decided on the Bucks' arena.

After that first game, two more will be held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, but they will be closed to the public.

"Tied to financial restrictions. Opening the BMO Harris Bradley center can be a financial burden," Brandes told FOX 11.

According to Brandes, the Herd scoured the Fox Valley and Green Bay for a closer venue for those games. However, he told us none met the safety requirements of the NBA.

"We have to use a certain kind of Spaulding basket stanchion. We have to have a certain ramp-up runway," Brandes explained.

Brandes said he's confident the Menominee Nation Arena will be ready to go in December.

The Herd says the team's 1,100 season ticket holders will be compensated for the two missed games. They will be given credit to buy tickets this or next season as well as Bucks tickets.

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