Sonnentag Event and Recreation Complex

New event center and recreation facility

Work is underway on the site that will be home to the Sonnentag Event and Recreation Complex. The complex includes an events center and a shared wellness, recreation and fitness facility.

UW-Eau Claire alumni John and Carolyn Sonnentag, through County Materials Corp. and their family foundation, donated the property to Blugold Real Estate Foundation in August of 2014. From east to west, the Sonnentag Complex site includes the former locations of Student Transit-Eau Claire, County Materials Corp. and Fabick Cat.

The event center concept calls for a highly versatile design that would accommodate multiple types of events and activities, including serving as a home for UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s basketball games, men’s hockey games, basketball and other athletics tournaments, large indoor concerts and other entertainment or sports events.

The Eau Claire YMCA is partnering with the Blugold Real Estate Foundation in the Menomonie Street project to replace the current YMCA facility on Graham Avenue in Eau Claire. The YMCA brings into the project development its ongoing collaboration with Mayo Clinic Health System. The two organizations have an agreement to work together in meeting the future health and wellness needs of the region.

In addition, UW-Eau Claire is conducting a comprehensive study of its recreation and athletics facilities to determine what functions should be incorporated into the Menomonie Street project to best serve student recreation and fitness needs.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation announced in August 2014 a commitment of approximately $10 million in money and land from UW-Eau Claire alumni John and Carolyn Sonnentag and County Materials Corporation for the Menomonie Street project. The gift was intended to help make possible the development of a facility where UW-Eau Claire and community organizations can hold larger-scale events than can be accommodated by the university's existing facilities.

While a timeline for design and construction of the project is not yet defined, partners in the project will continue the planning process with the intention of proceeding with the project in the next few years.

As currently envisioned, the complex will include:

  • an approximately 130,000-square-foot major event center with seating to accommodate 4,500-5,000 and total capacity of 5,500-6,000;
  • YMCA, UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System wellness, aquatics and recreation facilities of approximately 150,000 square feet;
  • surface parking to serve the entire complex; and
  • land suitable for development of private businesses that could complement and serve activities at the event and recreation complex.

For more information, contact:

  • Kimera Way, Blugold Real Estate Foundation, 715-836-5180
  • Brad Kemis, Market and Johnson, 715-832-8752

This partnership between the YMCA, Mayo Clinic Health System and UW-Eau Claire enables us to envision a seamless facility that serves YMCA members and university students while also minimizing duplication. Through this unique collaboration, we will be able to maximize opportunities that have not been an option for us in the past, such as hosting basketball tournaments, swimming meets and other events at a single location currently lacking in Eau Claire.

Ken VanEs, YMCA Executive Director