Groundbreaking marks milestone in Brown County Expo Center project
Shovels lifted dirt Wednesday to mark the ceremonial groundbreaking on the new Brown County Expo Center.
Community leaders joined Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach for what the county refers to as a "significant milestone" in the project.
The state-of-the art Brown County Expo Center will replace the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena. The arena was more than 60 years old and time had taken its toll on the structure.
for coverage of the arena demolition.
The new expo center will cover an estimated 120,000 square feet and will host larger events than the Veterans Memorial Arena.
The new building is also expected to have a bigger economic impact on Brown County.
"They are economic engines," says Brad Toll, Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It brings dollars from outside our area, from all over the country in. Those people leave and leave those dollars behind and we use them to improve our community."
Streckenbach says the new Expo Center will allow Green Bay to compete with markets like Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit.
PMI Entertainment Group sees the Expo Center as "the perfect complement" to the Resch Center, Lambeau Field and Titletown.
"The corner of Oneida and Lombardi is one of the busiest corners in the county," says Ken Wachter of PMI. "25,000 cars go by it a day. That’s 8.8 million people a year go past it. Over next 18 months they are going to see an incredible transformation."
Miron Construction is leading the Expo Center project. Workers are getting rid of the old concrete slabs of Shopko Hall and the old Hall of Fame.
"As you can see on the arena, they continue to take down the skin of that. We are probably about one-and-a-half weeks away from roof structure coming down," says Kurt Wolfgram, project executive. "It will take weeks after that to clear it out."
Workers are also laying foundation for the new Expo Center.
Construction is expected to ramp up in the coming weeks. Wolfgram expects close to 200 workers will be there at peak construction times.
The Brown County Expo Center is on track to open in January 2021.