Council to meet in closed session on arena financing

4

The Oshkosh Common Council plans to go behind closed doors Tuesday evening to consider another request to amend the city’s development agreement for the Menominee Nation Arena.

If approved this would be the third change to the original deal, which provided for taxpayer assistance to fund the redevelopment of the old Buckstaff factory on South Main Street.

One change increased the amount of tax support due to unexpected construction challenges. The most recent amendment, approved in December, was a wording change that was described as a way to help the developer, Fox Valley Pro Basketball Inc., obtain a long-term loan on the project.

Apparently this latest change is also part of the refinancing process, but few details have been made publicly available.

The arena has been financed primarily by the majority owner of Fox Valley Pro Basketball, local investment manager Greg Pierce. Pierce did not respond to a request for comment

City Manager Mark Rohloff said he could not provide much information in advance of the council meeting.

Pierce is “working on financing options, and our agreement did not anticipate them” because the original plan did not include any borrowing. “We wrote the agreement that way,” Rohloff said. “Any change requires an amendment now.”

News of the plan to amend the agreement comes as the Wisconsin Herd basketball team, the primary user of the arena, wraps up its initial season. The team was warmly received by fans even as the quality of play deteriorated.

The team lost its last five home games and ended its season with 21 wins and 29 losses.

Photo: The Menominee Nation Arena on March 23, the night of the Wisconsin Herd’s last game of the 2017-18 season. 

Share.

About Author

Miles Maguire

Miles Maguire is the author of Advanced Reporting: Essential Skills for 21st Century Journalism. He was the founding editor of the Oshkosh Community News Network, a nonprofit online news organization whose work was cited as a notable innovation in journalism in the 2005 Knight-Batten Awards. Send questions, comments and suggestions to miles.maguire@yahoo.com.

4 Comments

  1. Natalie Stenson on

    I agree that the team was warmly received by fans and even beyond that, already has a fan base that other established teams could only hope for! It’s great to see a win but it’s about developing players for the NBA and developing the officials for the NBA as well. The atmosphere is fun & exciting so fans attend knowing that these professional players are still developing & it’s rewarding to see the players you follow get their next opportunity as well!

  2. Jason White

    Story: “If approved this would be the third change to the original deal, which provided for taxpayer assistance to fund the redevelopment of the old Buckstaff factory on South Main Street.”

    Me: I’m not aware of any taxpayer money that supported the arena project.

    • Miles Maguire

      Sure, but there was “taxpayer assistance” (the term that was used in the article) in the form of an agreement to forego future tax payments. Clearly, if there were no taxpayer involvement, there would be no need to go back to the Common Council.

  3. Jason White

    The tax payments are reimbursing the developer for paying for streets, environmental work, etc. Public infrastructure projects. Not private infrastructure or facilities (i.e. arena). You hinted as such but didn’t make that distinction.

Leave A Reply