Janesville Woodman's ice arena and convention center

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced a $15 million grant for the Janesville Sports and Convention Center, filling a major gap in funding for the $50.3 million facility.

According to the city of Janesville, the project still remains about $4 million short of its goal after losing out earlier this year on a $4 million U.S. Department of Commerce grant. 

As it stands now, taxpayer funding is expected to account for $41.3 million of the investment, including an earlier commitment of $17.3 million that the city will borrow for the project.

The city currently is encouraging Rock County to contribute $1.5 million to the project.

There is a $9 million goal for private fundraising, of which $7.4 million already has been pledged, according to the city.

The governor’s investment is projected to support over 400 jobs and nearly $68 million in economic activity, according to a news release.

The projection is based on a study conducted by Associated General Contractors, which reported that for every $1 in construction spending, there is $1.81 of economic activity in Wisconsin, and for every $1 million of construction spend, 12 jobs are supported in the state’s economy. The effort, funded using American Rescue Plan Act funds, will ensure the projects can move forward and build upon Gov. Evers’ and the Evers Administration’s strategic investments that will have long-term impacts on the state’s workforce and economy.

“These five projects will have a long-term impact on our state’s economy and on economic development in these communities from Green Bay to Janesville,” said Gov. Evers in the news release. “From creating a premier cultural tourism destination to welcome visitors from across our state and country to providing educational and entertainment opportunities for students and visitors folks of all ages, these projects were clearly missed opportunities during the Capital Budget process, and the economic impact of these investments will pay dividends for our future economic success.”

The five projects Gov. Evers announced will receive funding today were recommended by the governor in his 2023-25 Capital Budget but were not included by legislative Republicans in the final 2023-25 Capital Budget. Gov. Evers’ building project investments also include:

  • $9.3 million for the Milwaukee Iron District new soccer stadium will transform a long-vacant property into a thriving destination, as well as advance both local and state tourism and athletic as well as community offerings at one of the busiest intersections in the state.
  • $7 million for the Green Bay National Railroad Museum expansion to meet the growing need for museum offerings, accessibility, and immersive programming.
  • $5 million for the Bronzeville Center for the Arts, on the site of the former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources building in Milwaukee, which will elevate the history and culture of African Americans and promises to become a Wisconsin cultural tourism destination.
  • $330,000 for the Door County Peninsula Players Theatre upgrades, which will provide safe and modern dormitory facilities for the company that draws nearly 40,000 visitors locally.