Inside look at progress on $456M expansion of Milwaukee's convention center

Milwaukee’s convention center expansion continues to take shape, creating a new landmark on the west side of downtown. See this slideshow of Kenny Yoo's photos from a Milwaukee Business Journal construction-site tour this week.

The newly renamed Baird Center is scheduled to launch in May 2024 when the facility known for the past decade as the Wisconsin Center holds the first events after its $456 million expansion.

The project is about 65% complete toward a construction deadline of April 1, 2024, said Mike Abrams, vice president with Wisconsin Center District owner’s representative CAA ICON.

“It’s on schedule and on budget — everything’s looking good,” Abrams said.

The next major milestone for the project is closing off the northern and eastern exteriors of the new structure by the end of summer, Abrams said. After that, crews will focus on completing interior work over the fall and winter, he said.

The Wisconsin Center District will hold a gala May 16, 2024, to celebrate opening the newly expanded Baird Center, said district president and CEO Marty Brooks. He said the expansion of the convention center led to 100 events booking dates between the 2024 opening and 2030.

Several events are booked in the new space in May 2024. For three of them, the event has not yet been announced and their identities remain confidential, but the American Society of Civil Engineers has announced an event with a move-in on May 19, 2024, said district spokeswoman Sarah Maio.

Rich Kirchen - Senior Reporter, Milwaukee Business Journal