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Wyatt Tinnen joins Sonnentag Center as general manager

CENTERS LLC announces the appointment of Wyatt Tinnen as general manager of the Sonnentag Center, the highly anticipated addition to the landscape of the Chippewa Valley scheduled to open in summer 2024.

The Sonnentag Center, which includes the Sonnentag Events Center and the John and Carolyn Sonnentag Fieldhouse, will provide sports and event spaces that will serve UW-Eau Claire Blugold athletic teams, students, the Eau Claire community and outside rental groups, such as local, regional and national sports organizations. 

With his extensive background in the sports and entertainment industry spanning more than 24 years, Tinnen brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his newly created role. As general manager, Tinnen will lead day-to-day operations of the Sonnentag Center in partnership with UW-Eau Claire. The Sonnentag Center will replace the existing Zorn Arena and transform sports and entertainment opportunities for UW-Eau Claire and the broader community.   

Tinnen and his team will support university events such as athletics, recreation and commencement, as well as market the largest indoor event venue in northwest Wisconsin for live events, sports events, rentals, and fitness and wellness memberships and programs.

Prior to joining CENTERS, Tinnen spent nearly 17 years as a director with Anschutz Entertainment Group, where he oversaw various aspects of venue management, including ticketing, finance, security, guest services, sales and analytics. Tinnen's impressive record includes opening several iconic venues across the U.S., including The StubHub Center in Carson, California; The Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California; Ceasar’s Colosseum in Las Vegas, Nevada; T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri; and Impact Field in Rosemont, Illinois.

Tinnen’s connection to the sports and entertainment industry runs deep, as he is the fourth generation of his family to work in the industry, with roots dating back to 1949. His passion for creating memorable experiences and his dedication to delivering top-notch entertainment will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the Sonnentag Center.

"We are thrilled to welcome Wyatt Tinnen as the general manager of the Sonnentag Center," says Paul Brailsford, co-founder of CENTERS. "With his wealth of experience in the events industry and proven leadership in arena management, we are confident that Wyatt will play a pivotal role in advancing the CENTERS mission at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His expertise will undoubtedly contribute to establishing the Sonnentag Center as a premier destination for live events, Blugold athletics, a hub of fitness and wellbeing and a venue for sports organizations. Wyatt's knowledge and skills align seamlessly with our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact he will have on our organization.”

In 2022, CENTERS was chosen as the management partner for the multiuse Sonnentag Center facility, which will be the largest indoor event venue in northwest Wisconsin. Key components include a 5,000-seat event center; four sport courts; 120-yard indoor turf fieldhouse; the UW-Eau Claire Center for Health and Wellbeing; UW-Eau Claire athletics offices; and the Mayo Clinic Health System Diagnostic Imaging and Sports Medicine Center. The Sonnentag Center is set to open its doors to the public this July.

“UW-Eau Claire is proud to be working with Wyatt Tinnen and the CENTERS team, and we look forward to the exciting variety of events and sports contests that will take place at the Sonnentag Center,” says Tracy Drier, UW-Eau Claire interim vice chancellor for finance and administration.

For more information, visit the CENTERS Sonnentag Center page.

About CENTERS: CENTERS is a professional management firm that specializes in operations management for colleges, universities and other nonprofit entities. CENTERS’ management portfolio consists of campus centers that encompass sports venues, recreation and wellness facilities, student centers, performing arts venues, conference facilities and more. CENTERS’ portfolio consists of 13 universities across the country. More information about CENTERS can be found at

About University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: UW-Eau Claire is an institution of close to 10,000 students and 1,400 faculty and staff. It is consistently recognized as a top public regional comprehensive university in the Midwest. UW-Eau Claire is widely known as a leader in faculty‐undergraduate research and study abroad experiences. UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff strive to provide students with a transformational educational experience in undergraduate and select graduate and professional programs through a commitment to teaching and learning and dedication to core values of diversity, sustainability, leadership and innovation. See more information at