Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office


December 19, 2018
Sharon Corrigan Chair, Dane County Board of Supervisors Chair, AEC Master Planning Oversight Committee (608) 333-2285
County Board

                                                         Plan will stimulate public-private investment


(MADISON, WI) The Alliant Energy Center Master Plan Oversight Committee has completed its work on a master plan for the 164-acre campus and its environs. It’s the next step in a multi-phase approach to keep the county-owned Alliant Energy Center (AEC) self-supporting while enhancing its current role as a world-class destination for a variety of events. The goal is to make the AEC a catalyst for growth and economic vitality for the entire area.


The Alliant Energy Center Campus Master Plan, in addition to the Destination District Vision and Strategy, a companion plan for the surrounding area, together address several current and anticipated needs. They include providing a vision for the John Nolen Drive and Rimrock Road corridors and lakeshore and enabling a public-private collaboration that will enhance the existing campus, adjacent neighborhoods and public spaces. Acting in concert, the two plans provide an integrated, long-term vision that will capitalize on the area’s vast economic and quality-of-life potential.


“The Master Plan and the concept of creating a Destination District help ensure the Alliant Energy Center will continue to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for Madison and Dane County,” says Sharon Corrigan, Chair of the Dane County Board of Supervisors and of the Alliant Energy Center Master Plan Oversight Committee. “But what’s even more exciting are the collaborative opportunities. This strategic vision creates a framework for public-private investment that will reap tremendous benefits for residents and visitors alike.”


Exhaustive research and extensive stakeholder input indicate an initial public investment of $90 million will stimulate more than $205 million in private investment in the campus alone — creating 1,400 new jobs and generating nearly $3 million in annual local property, sales and room taxes. Those benefits would compound over the long run, with an estimated 95 percent return on the original public investment over 30 years. The public-private investment is expected to nearly double the AEC’s net operating revenues and position it to continue to be self-supporting.


“An investment in the future of the Alliant Energy Center is an investment in the long-term growth of the greater Madison area and the region,” says Deb Archer, president of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau, Madison Area Sports Commission and AEC master planning oversight committee member. “This plan will make it possible for thousands more visitors who come to Madison for an event at the Alliant Energy Center to enjoy our restaurants and entertainment, patronize other businesses and enjoy our incredible recreational resources.”


The Destination District would integrate the Alliant Energy Center campus with the surrounding area to provide visitors and residents with a variety of recreation, dining and entertainment options. Infrastructure and connection to resources such as the lakeshore and bike paths would be optimized, turning the area into an attractive and accessible gateway to Madison. District improvements would also enhance the quality of life for nearby neighborhood residents.


“As a longtime resident of the Bay Creek neighborhood and as a local business owner, I’m committed to making sure investment in the Alliant Energy Center pays off for the entire community,” says Brewer Stouffer, founder and owner of Roman Candle Pizza and a committee member. “I’m thrilled by what the vision and potential investment will add to the neighborhood—a gateway into Madison and Dane County.”


The Minneapolis office of Perkins Will, the firm hired earlier this year to prepare the Master Plan, focused on developing a plan to meet yearly anticipated campus and user needs and act as a springboard for the Destination District.


“This Master Plan addresses current structural and aesthetic considerations and provides the vehicle to support the viability of the Alliant Energy Center campus for decades to come,” says John Slack, project principal at Perkin Will.


In addition to accepting the recommendations in the Master Plan, the 12-member Master Plan Oversight Committee also reviewed  the Destination District Vision and Strategy document prepared by Vandewalle & Associates, a Madison-based planning firm. The Committee’s full report has been forwarded to the Dane County Board, which is expected to form a committee in January to immediately move forward with implementation of the Master Plan. Initial design work and preparation of a public-private funding strategy also will take place in 2019, with the goal of breaking ground on Phase One of the Alliant Energy Center improvements in the next two to five years.