Sports Milwaukee prepares for its official launch

The first weekend in March, the Wisconsin Juniors Volleyball Club hosted its Winter Classic in the Wisconsin Center. Now, it’s the Badger Region Volleyball Association’s turn to serve with its championships taking place in the convention center’s exhibit hall.

“Our hospitality community continues to be very excited to welcome these volleyball tournaments back to our convention center and back to our city,” said Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “These tournaments create much needed stimulation for our local economy, furthering the city’s comeback from this pandemic. Additionally, it demonstrates Milwaukee’s ability and expertise in hosting successful events during a pandemic or hopefully near the end of one. Future conventions can rest assured knowing that Milwaukee is ready to host what we hope will be one of their safest and most successful events.”

As part of its safety plan approved by the Milwaukee Health Department, the Wisconsin Center’s exhibit hall will never have more than 1,250 individuals inside its space at a time staying within capacity limits. Only one spectator per athlete is allowed, which will be evident in the socially distant seating available. Teams may enter 30 minutes before their tournament begins, while spectators are limited to 15 minutes, and all must leave 15 minutes after their tournament ends. Milwaukee’s new phase of reopening just went into effect March 19, which may relax some of these restrictions for the tournaments.

A 30-minute window between tournaments allows staff to disinfect stations and shared spaces. Wisconsin Center cleaning staff will disinfect restrooms every 15 minutes during tournament play, and high frequency air exchange will keep fresh air always coming into the building. All of this in tandem with mask requirements, health screening options, and industry-leading practices will help ensure participants’ safety.

Badger Region has an estimated economic impact of $1.8 million its first week, $1.6 million the second week, and about $1.3 million its third week. Badger Region attendees range from 3,000 to 4,000 attendees each weekend. However, again, no more than 1,250 attendees in the exhibit hall at one time.

Sports Milwaukee Launching Soon
These volleyball tournaments come just weeks before the long-anticipated launch of Sports Milwaukee, a new division of the visitors bureau led by Director of Sports Development Marissa Werner.

“The Milwaukee area has some incredible wins in terms of booking national and international sporting events, but we want to ensure that we continue to build on that momentum,” Werner said. “We’re looking ahead to identify and obtain the next big wins for the city for many years to come, and we’ll accomplish that with this new division.”

As the director of sports development, Werner creates and leads this division focused solely on bringing sports business to the Greater Milwaukee area. The official launch of this new division will occur early in April, at which time the division’s formal name, branding, and a fresh new website will be unveiled.

Game on in Milwaukee
The city of Milwaukee has truly arrived as a destination for leisure and business travelers. Werner’s goal is to ensure more and more athletes and spectators know Milwaukee’s value as a sports destination as well.

“Milwaukee is an attractive, affordable, sports city that would be an ideal host of a wide range of events,” Werner said. “Our city’s varied facilities are built for everything from baseball, volleyball, and hockey, to fencing, table tennis, speed-skating, and gymnastics. And in addition to first-class venues, our location on scenic Lake Michigan is the perfect backdrop for marathons, triathlons, and beach volleyball tournaments.  Milwaukee is a sports event planner’s dream.”

Sports Milwaukee is managing several future events including the 2021 Ryder Cup, NCAA Men’s Basketball First/Second Rounds 2022, USGA Youth Amateur Championships 2022, and USGA Women’s Championships 2025 to name a few. Werner is also working on bids on everything from amateur to college to professional sports. Milwaukee is definitely a sports destination to watch.

About Sports Milwaukee
Sports Milwaukee, championed by VISIT Milwaukee, is charged with promoting the region as a destination for sporting events.​ A proud member of Sports ETA, Sports Milwaukee aims to solicit, promote and enhance youth, amateur, and professional sporting events to create a positive economic impact.​ Our vision is to be Milwaukee County’s premier sports organization for events and an advocate for health and wellness in the Greater Milwaukee area. For more information contact Director of Sports Development Marissa Werner by emailing or calling (414) 287-6232.