The Board of the Wisconsin Center District, which owns and operates the Wisconsin Center, has authorized the WCD to finalize an agreement with Milwaukee-based investment bank and financial services company Baird to become the official naming rights partner of the Wisconsin Center.
“Since our Board trusted our bold vision and authorized the expansion project in 2020, we knew that a naming rights agreement would follow,” said WCD President and Chief Executive Officer Marty Brooks. “The ideal naming rights partner would be homegrown, have a world-class reputation and, for the greatest possible success, share our core values and commitment to the city of Milwaukee. Baird meets and exceeds those qualifications and will give our convention center, and our city, yet another spectacular reason for visitors to add Milwaukee to their list of not-to-be-missed destinations.”
The agreement, brokered by Legends, will formally initiate when the expanded convention center opens in May 2024. The new mark for the venue will be revealed at the formal Topping Off ceremony on April 11, which will commemorate the placement of the last piece of structural steel and start a new phase of construction of the expanded Wisconsin Center.
“This agreement fits with our ongoing efforts to build Baird’s brand across our global footprint and reflects our longstanding commitment to giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Baird Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Booth. “The new state of the art convention center will enhance Milwaukee’s growing reputation as a modern, forward-looking city, and we are honored to support and be part of its success.”
The expansion of the Wisconsin Center, a $456 million project, broke ground on October 28, 2021. Upon completion, the combined north and south buildings will house 52 meeting rooms, a 300,000 contiguous square foot exhibit hall, 22 total loading docks, a 400-stall indoor parking garage, and a new rooftop ballroom with seating for 2,000. The venue will also include quiet rooms, nursing mother’s rooms, dedicated gender-neutral restrooms and a robust public art program. The WCD has self-mandated inclusion goals on the project of 25 percent minority-owned businesses, five percent women-owned businesses, and one percent disabled veteran-owned businesses, as well mandating that a minimum of 40 percent of the labor workforce on site reside in Milwaukee’s most underserved zip codes.
“Since the vote to authorize the expansion of the Wisconsin Center in April of 2020, the WCD Board has acted boldly to continue to enhance Milwaukee as a world-class destination,” said Jim Kanter, chairman of the WCD Board. “For us to now sign-off on a long-term partnership with a hometown institution like Baird is a tremendous representation of how the Board and the entire WCD Leadership Team continue to work together to move things forward and make Milwaukee a destination for conventions and events for many years to come.”