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Menominee Nation Arena Owner Files for Bankruptcy

Wisconsin Herd

The owner and operator Oshkosh, WI’s of Menominee Nation Arena has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, making the filing on Monday.

Fox Valley Pro Basketball (FVPB) owns and manages the arena, which is used by the Wisconsin Herd–an NBA G League team owned by the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks–and hosts other events. Recent legal action has been taken against FVPB, including a lawsuit this month filed by arena general contractor Bayland Buildings Inc. In that case, Bayland alleges that FVPB has defaulted on a mortgage, misrepresented its financial state, and failed to make payments to the contractor as required in a previous agreement.

As part of the lawsuit, Bayland had asked the courts to appoint local attorney Paul Swanson as receiver of FVPB. A motion to appoint the receiver went before Judge John A. Jorgensen on Monday, but FVPB’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection effectively halted that proceeding. More from Oshkosh Examiner:

“Federal law requires a stay of all proceedings,” Jorgensen said. “At this point, this action will be stayed. Nothing will be scheduled until we hear further from the plaintiffs.”

In the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Fox Valley said it had 100 to 199 creditors as well as both assets and liabilities in the $10 million to $50 million range. The case has been brought in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which is based in Milwaukee.

In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, the debtor is given breathing room to reorganize its financial affairs. In this case, the developer holds an asset, the arena, that is worth roughly $20 million while facing claims of roughly $13 million. The claim amount could rise, however, if more creditors come forward.

The receivership motion had been drafted on behalf of Bayland Buildings Inc., the Green Bay company that served as general contractor for the construction of the arena and that says it is still owed $13.2 million for the job.

Three separate lawsuits have been filed against FVPB this month. In addition to the case from Bayland, FVPB has been sued by its former law firm for $97,000 and by an investor who claims that it has defaulted on an $1 million promissory note.

Menominee Nation Arena was completed at a cost of $21.5 million in 2017, with the privately financed venue intended to serve as the anchor of a larger redevelopment initiative. While the Herd have proven to be a solid draw since beginning play in 2017, Menominee Nation Arena has reportedly struggled to find success in building and maintaining a slate of lucrative non-G League events.

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