Wisconsin Center sees event cancellations due to coronavirus pandemic

Trump rally, educators' conference canceled for downtown Milwaukee venue

The Wisconsin Center located on of Fourth Street and Wisconsin Avenue has 188,695 square feet of exhibit space.

Last updated on March 14th, 2020 at 02:38 pm

Several events that were to be held at downtown Milwaukee’s convention center in the coming weeks have been cancelled due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Among the events to take place at the Wisconsin Center next week were a “Catholics for Trump” campaign rally slated for Thursday, March 19, which the president planned to attend, and the National Council of Teachers of English’s annual Conference on College Composition and Communication.

The list has grown to also include postponement of the 2020 Badger Region Volleyball Association tournament, which was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and the following weekend (March 21-22); cancellation of the SAGA Sports’ 2020 Lambeau Leap gymnastics meet, which was hosted by High 5 Meets and slated to take place Friday through Sunday; and cancellation of Nerd Rage Gaming’s NRGMKE Weekend, also scheduled for March 21-22.

Trump 2020 campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh announced in a tweet Wednesday night that the event would be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, CCCC organizers announced their plans to cancel the event, which was slated for March 25-28.

“It is with extreme sadness that the CCCC Officers, on behalf of the full CCCC Executive Committee, announce that the 2020 CCCC Annual Convention has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in a statement. They announced it on the convention’s website.

The Badger Region Volleyball Association said in a statement it was suspending all Badger Region-sanctioned events through March 26.

“Thank you for your understanding of our rationale of event postponement in an attempt to decrease the potential exposure to COVID-19 and spread of the virus,” the association said.

High 5 Meets announced the cancellation on its website. SAGA Sports noted on its Facebook page that it did “not want to put anyone at risk.” The event was originally to take place at UW-Green Bay, but changed venues once the university shut down its campus.

Nerd Rage Gaming stated on its website it too has canceled its event due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials with the Wisconsin Center District, which owns and operates the convention center and other downtown venues, did not immediately provide a comment.

Another WCD-owned facility, the Fiserv Forum, will also be impacted due to the NBA’s decision on Wednesday to suspend the remainder of its 2019-2020 season. The Fiserv Forum is home to the Milwaukee Bucks.

As of last week Friday no events had been cancelled at the Wisconsin Center or other WCD-owned facilities. That was according to Marty Brooks, WCD president and chief executive officer.

Brooks told the WCD Board of Directors at a Friday meeting the district was taking extra steps to clean and sanitize its facilities. He said WCD was installing 40 additional hand-sanitizing stations, providing hand sanitizer to employees and wiping clean three times daily heavily used surfaces such as counter tops, door knobs, chairs and tables.

But in the time since, the coronavirus has only spread globally. As of Thursday afternoon, Wisconsin had six confirmed cases of COVID-19, including one patient residing in Waukesha County.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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