The Alliant Energy Center of Dane County is a multi-building complex in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. It comprises 164 acres (0.66 km2) of greenspace and includes the 255,000-square-foot (23,700 m2) Exhibition Hall, the 10,000 seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the 29-acre (0.12 km2) Willow Island, the 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) Arena, and nine modern agricultural exhibit buildings. The Center welcomes more than one million people attending more than 500 events annually, ranging from local meetings and banquets to large sporting events and major concerts.
In 1895 the Agricultural Society and Dane County purchased 250 acres (1.0 km2) of land at the current site to provide an area that could be used for the Dane County Fair. This area was known as "Lakeside Park Farm", but some thought it merely represented a worthless swampland. Because of financial difficulties, the Dane County Fair was halted on the site in 1938 and did not return until 1951. During this time, even though the Dane County Fair was held in an alternate location, the County board did not abandon the site and Dane County managed to pay off the mortgage for the property in 1941.
As a major turning point towards the advent of a full-service venue, roads, parking lots, sewer and water, a heating plant and kitchen/bathroom facilities were built on the grounds in 1949-51. In 1951, the Dane County Fair moved back to the present Alliant Energy Center (formerly the Expo Center) and remains there today.