A study commissioned by the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, shows an exhibition center will bring an estimated $6.5 million annually, via thousands of new visitors to the region.

A feasibility study concluded that the best site is the Outagamie County parking lot area bordered by Lawrence Street, Elm Street, Eighth Street and Jones Park. This is the site of the former St. Joseph School and convent.

Flexibility of use is the key factor to the success of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. Its primary use will be for convention exhibits and related events, which require large spaces. Its open, customizable spaces could potentially be used for secondary purposes such as: consumer tradeshows, graduations and proms, youth-directed activities and an endless variety of other uses of interest to local citizens as participants and spectators. They expect to draw conventions and exhibits from around the country.


  • Appleton
  • Grand Chute
  • Kaukauna
  • Kimberly
  • Little Chute
  • Menasha
  • Neenah
  • Sherwood
  • Town of Menasha (Village of Fox Crossing)
  • Town of Neenah

Additional stakeholders

  • Fox Cities Exhibition Center Advisory Art Committee
  • Fox Cities Exhibition Center Advisory Design Committee
  • Appleton Redevelopment Authority (ARA)
  • ARA Fox Cities Exhibition Center Advisory Committee
  • Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Fox Cities Lodging Association
  • Hotel Room Tax Commission
  • Radisson Paper Valley Hotel

Miron Construction Co., Inc. is the construction manager for the project. Architects include Fentress Architects and Zimmerman Architectural Studios.

City staff time is not being billed to the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. Appleton owns the building and has the responsibility to provide administrative duties associated with the project. This is similar to when the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center was built and City staff provided additional support to that project.

The construction of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center will be paid for through room tax dollars collected by area hotels, not tax revenue from area residents.

The cost is estimated at $31 million. The ARA Fox Cities Exhibition Center Advisory Board voted on September 1, 2016 to increase the cost from an estimated $29 million to an estimated $31 million. This will be used to pay the removal of dirt, additional conveyance (escalators, ramps, elevators) and structural support due to the added utilization of the rooftop area.

The project architects from Fentress Architects presented two options to the FCEC design team: A traditional exhibition center box design that met the expectations for the project and was similar to most of the other exhibition centers in the state, and a design that created additional programmable space outside the exhibition center with a plaza element. Both designs reflected the history of the Fox Cities but the ARA Fox Cities Exhibition Center Advisory Board approved the second option on September 1, 2016.

There is nothing wrong with the box design concept. The difference between the two concepts is that the second design features extra capacity, greater flexibility for meeting planners and creates additional programmable space outside the exhibition center with a plaza element.

The complete final design of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center was shared with the public on September 13, 2016.

Groundbreaking: Fall 2016

Dedication event: Late 2017

Just like any redevelopment project, there will be occasional road closures when needed.

The overarching goal of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center is to create a sense of pride and excitement throughout the communities and the region as well as to increase the number of guests staying at area hotels. Surrounding communities will benefit in several ways. Citizens will have access to more events in the form of tradeshows, exhibits, tournaments, youth programs, and other activities. Additionally, the number of convention-goers participating in related activities (especially shopping) is expected to increase. It is estimated that there will be more than 18,600 additional “heads in beds” annually. The presence of an Exhibition Center could present unanticipated positive consequences such as attracting new or different businesses or unique state/national marketing opportunities.

No, the City of Appleton will be paying for the upgrades.

It will be closed during construction while the new and improved park design is finalized and implemented.

Yes, it will be closed throughout the construction of the Exhibition Center so it can be renovated and updated.

No. The Jones Park improvements will not result in size reduction.

Yes, in 1909 George C. Jones gifted Jones Park to the City of Appleton.

When the park was originally gifted to the City, it had a restricted deed, stating that the land was to be used as a park and playground. In 1960, George C. Jones’ last surviving heir lifted the original requirements, making it an unrestricted deed today.

Updates on the construction project will be added to this website, and can be found by clicking the the “Construction Updates” button on the homepage. Construction updates will also be posted to the Appleton City Hall Facebook page. This can be found at