Unified entertainment district creates a true destination at Resch Expo
January 20, 2021
Kahler Slater and Populous worked closely with Brown County, the Village of Ashwaubenon, PMI Entertainment Group, and Miron Construction to design and deliver the new $93 million Resch Expo in just over two years. Today the landmark venue is complete and represents a bright future, with Resch Expo serving as a catalyst for growth and activation of the Village of Ashwaubenon and the Brown County community.
Completed on time and on budget, the new 266,000 square foot Resch Expo is adjacent to the iconic Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, and directly connected to the existing Resch Center arena. The three venues together now form the core of a two-mile entertainment corridor that connects the Packers’ Titletown development on the west with the Village of Ashwaubenon sports and entertainment district and the City of Green Bay’s Legends District to the east.
This new, unified entertainment district creates a true destination in the heart of Brown County that will appeal to residents, gameday guests, and out of town visitors and event attendees. While providing a flexible expo hall was the main programmatic goal, the project team saw an incredible opportunity to engage with and activate the outdoor space for expos, special events, and game day experiences, expanding the usable area and creating a truly unique offering in the industry.
The 150,000 square foot outdoor plaza will host several new events throughout the year, serving as the heartbeat of the district. A series of outdoor “neighborhoods” offer outward facing concessions and amenities, creating the feel of an open-air market and promoting year-round activation of the site.
The venue’s modern design creates new opportunities for economic activity in the district and County, as its flexibility allows it to host a variety of events on a local, regional, and national scale, including food and beer festivals, trade and consumer shows, sporting events, concerts and more.
Local craftsmanship played an essential role in bringing the project to life as teams worked together to create a state-of-the-art venue that would reflect the spirit and pride of the community while signaling a warm invitation to visitors. “This project is going to wow people,” County Executive Troy Streckenbach said. “It’s going to complement the development, and it’s going to do exactly what we’re trying to do – attract business expos from the region.”
Resch Expo’s innovative multi-purpose design also means it is prepared to host multiple events at one time, minimizing downtime between shows due to move-in and move-out, also known as “dark days.” Eliminating dark days creates the potential to utilize a facility to its full potential, bolstering business for surrounding developments and increasing the potential for economic impact.
“We are excited about the economic enhancing possibilities Resch Expo has to offer the residents of Brown County and Northeastern Wisconsin,” said PMI Entertainment Group President Brendan Bruss. “The future return of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association is just one example of Resch Expo already delivering events that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.”
Resch Expo’s design created connections between buildings as well as between nature and the built environment – the abundance of glass windows creates a sense of transparency and access, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor and welcoming the distinctive Wisconsin landscape in. A sweeping roofline creates three individual elevations, forming a grand entrance at the front of the building that faces Armed Forces Drive.
“One of the most unique features of the venue is its sweeping balcony views of the Armed Forces Plaza and the legendary Lambeau Field,” said Populous Principal-in-Charge Todd Gralla. “Mezzanine level meeting rooms and terraces overlooking the plaza and Lambeau Field, as well as large glass doors along one end of the 125,000 square foot column-free expo hall, allow events to flow outdoors, promoting connectivity between events and the public and adding to the sense of belonging we’re trying to evoke within the community.”
The Brown County Veterans Memorial was a critical factor in the design of the Resch Expo. The decision to better integrate the monument into the newly envisioned Plaza made the memorial the centerpiece of this featured public space. Its position at the entrance of the new expo hall is further complemented by an interactive storytelling wall located in the prefunction hall. The design team was honored by the opportunity to not just preserve but enhance this revered monument, and to pay proper tribute to those whose service it will continue to represent.
“It’s incredible to think about the amount of work that’s been accomplished since we started our very first meeting in November of 2018,” said Kahler Slater Principal-in-Charge Jeff Piette. “To deliver this $93M project with an aggressive timeline has required an experienced, dedicated and complementary team of professionals, all focused on a shared vision of delivering a top-tier, elevated expo experience for Brown County.”
Resch Expo is the latest expo center designed by Populous. With projects ranging from Williamson County Expo Center to the new Oklahoma City Convention Center, we’re able to design the places where people love to be together at any scale. For more information on Populous’ work in the convention center market visit https://populous.com/our-projects/convention-exhibition-centers.