Wausau collecting firms for feasibility study of large concert venue The River

The River Wausau

City leaders have begun collecting firms to study whether a large concert venue can work north of downtown Wausau. 

Community Development Director Liz Brodek told the city’s Economic Development Committee last week that her department reached out to a number of firms that could put together a study. That study would look at whether The River, a 3,500-seat concert venue proposed for the area north of downtown, could actually work. 

The River’s founders, Joe Ellis and Anna Herman of VY Properties, say they believe the venue could sell 250,000 tickets per year. An analysis by City Pages demonstrated that would make it one of the top selling venues in the country for a venue of that size. 

The department had conversations with ten different firms interested in performing the study, Brodek says. From there, staff members put together a list of bullet points for firms to address, and the top three or four proposers will be handed over to Ellis and Herman to select from. 

The proposed venue would be a 58,000-square foot building with commercial space north of downtown. An exact location hasn’t yet been specified. Ellis and Herman say they already have interest in the commercial space and enough interest they believe they could staff the building tomorrow. 

But others pointed out that parking would be an issue in that area – the city wouldn’t want surface parking and a ramp could cost millions.