As debate continues about a possible expansion of the downtown convention center, Wisconsin Center District officials sought to better understand how their current facilities function. Consultants hired to examine operations made it clear the facilities weren’t the worst they had seen, but there was room for improvement.
Crossroads Consulting Services LLC and Barrett Sports Group LLC compared WCD facilities with comparable operations around the country. Their conclusion? The facilities are well-managed and -maintained, but underutilized and in some cases, in need of continued investment.
“If you look at the district facilities as a whole, you’re below average,” said Susan Sieger, president of Crossroads.
The district was in the bottom half for events and attendance among comparable complexes in cities that included Bakersfield, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; Des Moines, Iowa; Duluth, Georgia; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Greensboro, North Carolina; Omaha, Nebraska; Spokane, Washington; and Tucson, Arizona.
But just what are the three WCD facilities being used for on a regular basis? BizTimes analyzed data from the consultants’ report to determine the top event types at each facility based on attendance over the past five years.
[caption id="attachment_132068" align="alignnone" width="350"] The Wisconsin Center[/caption]