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La Crosse Center booking more meetings as expansion proceeds

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New portions of the La Crosse Center are coming together, with just a few months left in the construction process. 

On Tuesday, members of the Center Board toured sections added on to the north and west sides of the civic center. 

The new additions include a second ballroom, along with rooftop terraces that look out onto the river and the Pearl Street area. 

Also added to the building are meeting rooms which can double as luxury suites that can be rented for sporting events or concerts.     

Many people who like to think of the La Crosse Center mainly as a concert venue wonder why the building books so many conventions. 

The center staff says the large business meetings pay the bills, and they’re starting to schedule a bigger number of meetings for when the expansion project is done. 

Center director Art Fahey tells board members that he’d like to get back to meeting numbers they had 10 to 20 years ago. Fahey says they reached a high of 42 conventions in 2000, the year that the South Hall and the current ballroom opened.    

The center only has 16 large meetings booked this year, but they have 22 confirmed for 2022, and close to 40 in the works for the following year.   They’re also negotiating with the WIAA to bring girls’ wrestling tournaments to the center, although having state basketball finals back in La Crosse next year is unlikely.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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