Wisconsin Center District CEO Update

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Since our last meeting, the Milwaukee Business Journal acknowledged the outstanding job MJ Gilfillan, our Vice President of Human Resources, with the HR Award for a Government entity.  She was featured in the Business Journal’s special HR section and acknowledged at their event in October. Congratulations to MJ and the Human Resources team.

Business Updates

  • Miss Lizzie’s opened for business the first week of November. We have used it several times for both public and private events, including our own client holiday party earlier this month. We’re proud to turn a space that was underutilized into a positive revenue stream.
  • We have just finalized a promotional video of the Miller High Life Theatre. This piece will be sent to promoters and talent agents, posted on our website, and featured at industry-specific events. Click this YouTube link to view:


Our marketing department is also working with Visit Milwaukee on a similar video series about the Wisconsin Center to send to convention meeting planners.

Booking Updates

Entertainment and Sports:

  • Elvis Costello played the Miller High Life Theatre on November 26th; the final show of his national tour. EDM superstar Deadmau5 performed last Saturday at the Wisconsin Center to rave reviews. Both of these shows were co promoted with Live Nation.
  • The 90’s Kickback Tour on November 22 was so successful that they’re coming back February 21, 2020
  • Alice Cooper returns to the Miller High Life Theatre on April 4. This is in partnership with Emporium and the Pabst Theater Group. Sales out of the gate have been very strong.
  • The Millennium Tour, a significant national tour, comes to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena April 26th

Meeting and Conventions:

  • For the first time, the WCD will have a booth at the Wonderful World of Weddings show at State Fair Park January 4 and 5. Theme will be “instagramable moments” with our team showing off our unique event spaces within the WCD campus.
  • We have hired a special events sales manager, Katie Ragan, to focus our efforts on weddings, parties, galas and special social and catering events. Katie begins January 13th.


DNC Updates

  • On January 7, we will be participating in a welcome and familiarization event for over 500 media representatives. We look forward to showing off all our venues have to offer.


Wisconsin Center Completion

  • A firm has been selected to perform a valuation of the existing various sponsorship elements. They will identify what we could expect for naming rights of the existing Wisconsin Center and for an expanded and modernized Wisconsin Center, as well as provide foundational data for the value of assets throughout our campus.
  • We announced that the architectural team of tvsdesign and Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) has been selected to design the Wisconsin Center expansion project. As you saw in the press release, tvsdesign is the global leader in convention center design, and EUA has a long record of success in every landmark project in Milwaukee for the last decade. The construction manager will be chosen in early January and, together with the design team, we will be significantly closer to identifying the true cost of the project. All of this groundwork is necessary before advancing a financing package to the Board. We anticipate the package to be voted on at the April 2 Board meeting.


Warmest holiday wishes to you and yours.

I look forward to a Bold. Proud. And Experience Obsessed 2020!