Expo Center Project ‘Steel’ Going Strong

Terry Charles

terry charles | behind the stage | dec. 2018

I thought I'd give another update on the new $93 million Brown County Expo Center project next to the Resch Center. It amazes me the number of people who still don't know what's happening on that corner! Progress is fast and furious. It was just May when demolition began on the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena and Shopko Hall. Those two structures are long gone and now a lot of steel is being erected in the same space.

The construction schedule calls for the building to be completed in January of 2021. When finished, the new expo center will be a striking indoor and outdoor pre-function and networking space with 125,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space inside. The expo center floor will be able to be divided into three separate meeting spaces in a three-hall design, a two-hall design or one large space.

The building can be used for tradeshows, industry sales shows and sporting events that need room to move. It will also have expandable breakout rooms for educational seminars or event storage. The other thing that will be unique is the large amount of natural light in the building because of the glass walls of windows.

So exciting times are ahead. Our company, PMI Entertainment Group, will manage the facility along with the Resch Center next door. Our job now is to book events there in a cooperative effort with the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). We will look to schedule trade shows and develop new events for the space while the CVB will help those things and other major sporting and industry events. PMI and CVB staff members will be traveling to various conferences and expo type events to get the word out and drum up business for the new facility.

Other things going on behind the scenes include naming rights proposals for the building. We have been assisting the county in finding a company to put its name on the building as well as finding sponsors for other facets of the building like the exhibition halls and outdoor plaza. Brown County will own the expo center and budgeted $8 million for naming rights to be part of the funding formula. The biggest funding mechanism for the project will come from room tax money while a smaller portion will come from the half-percent county sales tax. Room tax is what visitors pay when they stay in Brown County hotels and motels.

In the meantime, we've had to make a few parking adjustments around the complex. Before construction, we used the parking lot in front of Shopko Hall for ADA parking. With that lot out of the picture, we now use the Blue Lot directly across the street from the Resch Center. ADA visitors are advised that the lot fills on a first-come, first-served basis and when filled, persons with a disability can be dropped off directly in front of the Resch Center and then someone else can go park the vehicle in the Lambeau Field lot.

For now, sit back and enjoy the tremendous progress going up at the corner of Oneida and Lombardi. Once finished the project will be a great addition to the stadium and entertainment district that we believe will draw a lot more people to the Green Bay area.

Terry Charles is public relations manager for Green Bay-based PMI Entertainment Group. He's all about media relations, publicity and social media for the Resch Center Complex, Meyer Theatre, Green Bay Gamblers Hockey and other events produced by PMI. When not at work, please don't hit him with your car as he runs and bikes around the Green Bay area. You can follow him on Twitter at @TCCharles.

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