Eau Claire City Council recently committed to contribute between $6 and $7 million toward the 130,000-square-foot Sonnentag Event and Recreation Complex, a sports and events facility that is scheduled to break ground this summer. The city’s contribution will go toward increasing seating to 5,100 and adding ample space. With the extra room, the complex may be able to attract and house in-demand entertainment and a variety of youth sports.
According to Wisconsin Public Radio, “Work on the project began in 2014 when University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumni John and Carolyn Sonnentag donated $10 million worth of land along the Chippewa River to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation for a future sports and events center. The foundation partnered with the Mayo Clinic Health System and local YMCA on plans to build a major events center worth an estimated $100 million. But in December, the YMCA withdrew its support for the Sonnentag complex leaving remaining partners to scale back designs.”
The city’s commitment is the first step of the new partnership as a proper agreement must still be signed by all involved parties. Approximately half of the city’s investment will come from revenues from a tax incremental finance district, which permits municipalities to repay loans via expanded property tax revenues achieved by new development. The other half will be paid via hotel room-tax revenues.
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