Several Staff at Dane County's Alliant Energy Center Placed on Furlough Until it is Safe Enough to Hold Large Gatherings Once Again

May 29, 2020
Greg Brockmeyer, 608-266-4519
County Executive

Eighteen staff members at Dane County's Alliant Energy Center will be placed on temporary furlough until the campus is once again able to safely host events. The furloughs will take effect 30 days from now, and the county will continue to provide health insurance and other benefits to the affected employees.

"This is a sad day for the county, as we are all well aware of the very real hardship the COVID-19 pandemic is causing families both with their physical and financial well-being," County Executive Joe Parisi said. "As more prominent events come to the realization of how hard it will be to have their shows and keep their clients and visitors safe in the coming months, it’s become harder to mitigate the financial losses at our destination campus."

The Reebok CrossFit games announced several weeks ago it would not be able to host its 2020 event at the Alliant Energy Center due to COVID-19. The Dane County Fair also recently announced this summer's fair would be canceled. The World's Largest Bratfest, which typically brings thousands to the campus each Memorial Day weekend, was called off this year as have a number of other events that not only bring people into our community, but also provide the revenue to fund the Alliant Energy Center's budget, including its workforce. The county owned and operated facility operates exclusively as a self-sustaining department, meaning it is not reliant on tax revenues.

In addition to keeping their health insurance benefits, the employees receiving furlough notices will have the ability to be considered for other county positions. The Department of Administration will meet individually with them in the coming weeks to review those potential opportunities. If the furloughs last the remainder of 2020, the Alliant Energy Center would save around $800,000 in expenditures. While the actual duration is unknown and dependent on the pandemic, the furloughs are temporary and once events, shows, and concerts are able to safely occur once again staff will be offered the opportunity to return to their jobs.

"The Alliant Energy Center has been a revived, vibrant destination in recent years bringing in nationally renowned shows to educate and entertain our region and state," Director Brent McHenry said. "This step, while hurtful in the short term, positions us for a quicker recovery as the industry rebounds in the wake of COVID-19."