- The Maryland Stadium Authority has commissioned a $460,000 study to explore whether an extension of the Baltimore Convention Center, as well as a new downtown arena and hotel, would be economically feasible, according to The Baltimore Sun.
- The team involved with the study, which includes Clark Construction and architecture firm Populous, will explore the possibility of building out both projects in full or some combination.
- Baltimore, which has reportedly lost convention business to nearby Washington, DC, because of its relatively smaller meeting and event capacity, has asked state officials to enlarge and improve the existing spaces.
The desire to capture more of the convention market is not specific to Baltimore. Cities all over the country are expanding their facilities in order to lure in more of that lucrative business.
Seattle is currently giving the Washington State Convention Center a $1.4 billion facelift, as it was reportedly missing out on business to the tune of 300 events and $1.6 billion in revenue. Other convention center overhauls include a planned $1.4 billion project in Las Vegas and a $1.5 billion renovation and expansion of New York's Jacob K. Javits Center already underway — all in pursuit of lucrative convention dollars.
Hotels are key in drawing in shows and meetings because attendees value walkability at a premium, according to convention center construction and management experts. In February, a Los Angeles developer filed plans with the city for a new 53-story hotel development across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center
Adding the latest technology is also crucial to a convention space, David Anderson, regional vice president of Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, told Construction Dive in March. Convention goers, he said, expect to have the same Wi-Fi capabilities in a meeting facility as they do in their home and offices.