University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Recreation Center Records One-Millionth Visitor

Earlier this month, the Kress Events Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay recorded its one-millionth fitness-and-recreation patron visit.

The milestone came almost exactly eight years after the facility opened on Nov. 3, 2007, the university said in a news release.

The university, which had been keeping electronic count of visitors to the Kress Center, determined that a visit on Nov. 4 by student Ashley Garza was the one-millionth by a user of the facility — mostly students but also faculty, staff, alumni and community members. To commemorate the event, Garza was given a gift package of apparel, passes and discounts.

The count of visitors applies to those registering at the front desk for recreation, fitness or student-athlete purposes, and does not include attendance at sporting events or other ceremonies.

Jeff Krueger, director of operations, said the center recorded 3,764 individual user visits in its first week eight years ago, a number that has remained relatively constant. The facility now averages between 4,000 and 4,600 user visits per week when school is in session during the cold-weather months, Krueger said. The single-week “record” was set with 4,719 visits recorded Feb. 2 to Feb. 8, 2014, during Green Bay’s coldest winter in a century.

The $33 million project was built through a partnership led by students, who committed $15 million through higher fees. The state of Wisconsin provided $7.5 million, contingent upon the university raising more than $11 million in community donations. The George F. Kress Foundation of Green Bay provided the lead private gift.

The facility was named by Best Value Schools in 2013 as one of the best college recreation centers in the nation. It features a football field, six tennis courts, four soccer fields and two softball diamonds, as well as an indoor pool, an event arena and a turf gym.

Krueger says the one-millionth visit milestone is not merely an estimate. It is an actual electronic count of users — primarily UW-Green Bay students but also faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and community members — reflecting only those who enter the Kress and register at the front desk for recreation/fitness or student-athlete purposes. It does not include attendance at sporting events, commencement ceremonies, concerts, conferences or other special events.