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The Wisconsin Herd will play its inaugural season home opener on Nov. 17 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. (PHOTO: Lauren Kalil Twitter)

Herd arena not ready, so Bucks' G League team will play home opener in Milwaukee

The Wisconsin Herd will begin its inaugural NBA G League season by playing its first few home games on the road.

The Herd's home opener on Nov. 17 will be hosted at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, the team announced Tuesday, because its new arena won't be ready for the beginning of the season. Wisconsin's subsequent home games on Nov. 18 and Nov. 28, originally scheduled to be played in Oshkosh, also will be held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center but will be closed to the public.

The Bucks' first-year G League affiliate plans to host its official home opener at Menominee Nation Arena on Dec. 1.

"Creating a positive experience for our fans, players and partners is our top priority," Herd President Steve Brandes said in a statement. "In partnership with Bayland Buildings and the Menominee Nation Arena team, we've determined that we will be unable to meet the high standard NBA G League fans deserve in time for our home opener."

Added NBA G League President Malcolm Turner: "The Menominee Nation Arena project has been an incredible display of hard work and collaboration, starting as an empty lot just seven months ago. We support the decision to host the team's Wisconsin opener in Milwaukee to ensure players, partners and fans have the highest level of experience, service and safety. We look forward to celebrating with Wisconsin Herd fans at the Menominee Nation Arena home opener on Dec. 1."

Wisconsin's season opener is Nov. 6 at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The Herd then plays three more games on the road before celebrating its "Wisconsin Opener," presented by Menominee Tribal Enterprises, on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bradley Center as part of the Bucks' 50th Anniversary Season. The game will be open to Herd season ticketholders with buses transporting fans to Milwaukee from Oshkosh. The Herd also plans to distribute tickets to community organizations focused on education, youth health and wellness, community betterment and mentoring.

"There has been an unprecedented level of cooperation between the builders and subcontractors since we first began building a state-of-the-art NBA G League arena seven months ago," Fox Valley Pro Basketball President Greg Pierce said in the release. "There have been a few delayed shipments, which moves the projected completion of the arena to only days before the scheduled opener. Unfortunately this does not allow us the opportunity to ensure we provide the highest customer service for patrons."

Opportunities for fans to watch and listen to the Herd's games on Nov. 18 and Nov. 28 will be announced later this week.

Wisconsin is planning to celebrate its official home opener, presented by BMO Harris Bank, on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at Menominee Nation Arena. For more information and tickets, click here.

"We look forward to creating a memorable experience for all Herd fans in conjunction with our home opener on Dec. 1," said Brandes. "We hope fans will join us in celebrating the start of the Wisconsin Herd's inaugural season twice; in Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and at the official home opener at Menominee Nation Arena."

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