support for replacing the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena with a new Expo Hall

On Tuesday night (5/16), we unanimously approved a plan to contribute room tax generated by De Pere hotels to support the construction of a new expo center to replace the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena and ShopKo Hall. To date, Allouez and Ashwaubenon have also approved the plan, Green Bay has yet to consider it.

In a nutshell, the Village of Ashwaubenon would bond for the construction of the new expo hall at the corner of Lombardi Ave and Oneida St. This new facility will allow us to generate additional tourism dollars in the area, which in turn generates excess room tax. We agreed to allow the county to take our portion of that excess room tax, and give it to Ashwaubenon to pay off those bonds.

Numerous people participated in the hour-long discussion. During that discussion, these are some of the questions that I asked:

Brad Toll, President/CEO, Greater Green Bay Visitors & Convention Bureau
Beth Ulatowski, Director of Sales, Greater Green Bay Visitors & Convention Bureau

  1. Is it expected that we would just park at Lambeau Field?
  2. If this is built, and it’s marketed, and we’re selling it, we’ll have excess room tax revenue. How much money are we talking about?

Troy Streckenbach, Brown County Executive

  1. The resolution in front of us mentions specifically that we would expect this to create $130 million in economic impact over 10 years. I’m assuming that we’re talking about the first 10 years once it opens, is that correct?
  2. How much additional excess room tax will there be and when can we expect to see that?
  3. Are there downsides to choosing this project over doing something else with that property? What are some of the other thoughts about what to do with that, and why would those not work?

You can watch the discussion and hear the responses on the meeting video. This agenda item starts at 34:50 and lasts about an hour. You an also read the full meeting agenda.

Note: There is a separate but related measure decided entirely by the Brown County Board to establish a .5% sales tax for six years to also contribute to this project.