Wisconsin Center District
Press Release

Wisconsin Center District Institutes Temporary Layoffs

Cost-saving measure taken in response to loss of business due to COVID-19

By - Apr 17th, 2020 12:25 pm

MILWAUKEE, WI – (April 17, 2020) – In response to the severe economic impact of COVID-19 on the operation and finances of the Wisconsin Center District (WCD), today the WCD temporarily laid off thirty-four full-time staff, approximately fifty percent of its full-time workforce, effective immediately. Recalls will be made as business warrants based on job functions throughout late spring and summer.

“Layoffs are always the last course of action and this decision was not made lightly,” said Marty Brooks, President and CEO of the WCD. “Efforts to mitigate expenses in other ways simply weren’t enough to counteract the deep and sudden loss of revenue due to cancellation and postponement of events because of COVID-19.”

The WCD, which owns and operates the Wisconsin Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, and Miller High Life Theatre has had over 70 events postpone, reschedule, or cancel from March through June of this year. In addition to loss of revenue from room rent, audio/visual orders, and food and beverage services from those direct events, the WCD – which is a tax collecting quasi-governmental agency – has also lost revenue from city and county hotel taxes, county food and beverage taxes, and a ticket surcharge from events at Fiserv Forum, for which the WCD is the landlord.

“As dire as the next few months may be, I do feel confident that we will come back even stronger,” said Brooks. “The WCD has a full schedule of events from August through the end of the year.”

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