We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Quality shows, old place...seemingly declining concert venue.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alliant Energy Center

Alliant Energy Center
Ranked #30 of 95 things to do in Madison
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Our premier downtown multi-venue complex features four unique and versatile venues: Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Exhibition Hall, the New Holland Pavilions, and Willow Island. A top choice for expositions, conventions, meetings, concerts, sporting events, ag events, and much more, the Alliant Energy Center complex is a one-stop-shop for all your events. Ample parking, mouthwatering catering, dedicated staff, and a full range of rental equipment & high speed internet make AEC an event planners delight!
Beloit, Wisconsin, Usa
Level Contributor
51 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Quality shows, old place...seemingly declining concert venue.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2013

Appearing a little like a giant cupcake, the Alliant Energy Center is one of the cooler looking old 'coliseum' arenas in the area. It is a medium/large venue for concerts (~10000) but draws all sorts of events. I was there for two rock concerts.

Best parts: Being a medium/large venue, there isn't a bad seat in the house. And the sound was really, really spectacular. The music and singing were both very clear, at both shows. Concessions were reasonable. Parking reasonable. Easy to get to, right off major highways. Plenty of paved, lighted parking. Nice natural 'campus.' Hotels very close. Restaurants close. Plenty of other attractions close. A lot going for it.

Worst parts: It does feel just a little dated, inside and out. The grounds can house all variety of events, but the coliseum itself seems old. It has almost an Allstate Arena kind of identity crisis happening, but no major sports team directly associated with it. I'm not sure if it's that identity crisis causing the lack of bigger acts there, or vice versa, but it seems that whereas rock and roll shows used to be able to fill Camp Randall, the Kohl Center, and the Alliant Energy Center without a problem, now it's a trick to get exciting shows at the Alliant or Camp Randall. Sad. The concession lines were long (maybe not enough open), and restrooms seemed far away, but maybe that was because of all of the milling people. The seating is a little strange, can be quite steep feeling. Then again, any large venue will feel this way. And be careful what price range you buy tickets in, because my seats were only a couple rows off the other price range and negligibly different in view. Had I paid the extra $25 dollars to be in that row, I would have been irritated. Usually there is a much sharper division in price ranges/seats.

Whereas I might have said it was a good place to see a great show, because of the lack of artists going there, I have to say it was a place that I saw a couple of great shows. Not sure when I'll see another there, but I'm open to it and wish more acts would book there. I'd be inclined to give it a 4 if that happened.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Gregory M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

67 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hayward, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
114 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“sound system not working”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

There are several sections to the Center. I was there to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama, so being able to hear was critical. I splurged and bought the expensive seats and was fairly close to the stage. There really is no excuse for this major failing, and I felt bad for the Tibetan people who have so few opportunities to see their religious leader. The sponsors of the event, a local monastery, apologized (as if it were their fault) for the sound system. It was an honor to see His Holiness, I only wished I could have heard him as well.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank LeeB13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Wayne, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“World dairy Expo”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2012

I have went here for years to attend World Dairy Expo--Huge facility to house all of the dairy related exhibits. Always clean and well lit.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Sandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sun Prairie
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“parking is a rip off!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2012

we have been to alliant for several events. some, such as the new car show were fine. others, such as the electronics show were dumping grounds for overpriced outdated computer junk.

3 Thank Martin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surprise, Arizona
Level Contributor
97 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“The go to place for whatever happens to be going on”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2012

This is the Madison big events center, with Monona Terrace being another site. We were there for the Alpaca Show, and a couple of other functions. It pretty much has something going on all year round.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank NVSallyReno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Alliant Energy Center also viewed


Been to Alliant Energy Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing