World-class sports, entertainment arena may be brought to Wausau

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) --- Wausau may soon be home to a new world-class sports and entertainment center. The announcement was made Thursday night during the Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitor's Bureau Impact Awards.

While nothing is official just yet, President and CEO of the U.S. Sports Development Group Val Belmonte said they want Wausau to be the home of this new arena.

It would be for local recreational use, and offer elite athletes a training facility. The group also hopes it will bring world-class sporting events, as well as, concerts and other entertainment options.

The development group is working with the Convention and Visitor's Bureau to bring the arena to Wausau. The group looked at possible sites in six other states, all in the Midwest, but decided Wausau would be the ideal place to call home. Belmonte said Wausau has all the elements they're looking for, including community support and people who have an understanding of sports and entertainment. It's also a good location centrally positioned in the U.S.

But before anything is official, studies need to be done to determine if the arena is even feasible in the Wausau area.

"So these next 6-10 months are probably the most important, cause the project itself would develop its personality that way. We'll know what's going to be important to the area, what type of events we're going to have, that's when the architects get involved with the building and once we get those pieces together then we start taking a look at the variety of sites," said Belmonte.

The group does have one other arena in Fisher, Indiana, and Wausau's location would likely be similar.

Once the study is done, the development group, with the Visitor's Bureau, will announce more details like where the arena will be made, how big, and how much the project will cost in total. They may also bring in teams with the arena, like a minor league hockey team.