Dane County is seeking proposals from developers to redevelop the Alliant Energy Center with the hope of expanding facilities and bringing new events to the 164-acre complex, the county announced Thursday.
The large concerts, expos and other events at the center have largely been on hold for the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of nearly all large events. The campus has instead been used for drive-through COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
“As we emerge from the challenges of the past year, this project offers opportunity for economic invigoration while bringing new events to Dane County,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said.
It’s unclear what could all be included in the redevelopment, but the county said it is seeking to at least expand the Exhibition Hall, which could attract more large trade shows.
The largest convention and exposition in Dane County, the World Dairy Expo, solicited proposals last month for alternative locations due in part to Dane County’s COVID-19-related restrictions, although officials with the expo said the Alliant Energy Center remains the preferred location for this year’s show. The World Dairy Expo has an estimated economic impact of more than $45 million.
Dane County pitched a 10-year contract extension to the World Dairy Expo in an attempt to keep the agricultural trade show at Alliant, but no agreement has been finalized yet.
Alliant Energy Center executive director Brent Kyzer-McHenry said the redevelopment project will help “enhance the profile of Dane County as a top-tier destination for visitors and conventions alike.”
The center generally brings more than 1 million guests each year and more than $80 million in local spending, according to the county.
“I’m excited to get to work on a project that will help the Alliant Energy Center recover after some very difficult and challenging times,” Sup. Shelia Stubbs, 23rd District, said.
Parisi said, “With the right vision, the future of Dane County’s Alliant Energy Center is bright.”
Developers can submit project proposals online at www.danepurchasing.com/bids.
PHOTO GALLERY: DRIVE-THRU TESTING FOR COVID-19 GETS UNDERWAY AT MADISON’S ALLIANT ENERGY CENTER