CIB, Visit Indy Present Case For Convention Center Expansion

Posted: Updated:
(Image provided by the Capital Improvement Board.) (Image provided by the Capital Improvement Board.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would fund the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and the addition of two new hotels in downtown Indianapolis. The city’s Capital Improvement Board unveiled plans for the $120 million effort in October. CIB President Melina Kennedy says the city’s biggest conventions have said an expanded convention center and more hotel space were significant factors in their decisions to stay in Indy.

"In addition to retaining some of the largest conventions that we have coming to our city that are bringing 60,000 or more people, it also would allow us the opportunity to be able to have more than one large convention at the same time, which currently we cannot do," said Kennedy. "We believe there are hundreds of potential major events that Indianapolis would now be open to for consideration that we wouldn't have been able to support previously prior to having that expanded convention center space."

Chris Gahl with Visit Indy says the city has lost out on $1.1 billion in business over the last 10 years because there wasn’t enough exhibit or hotel space. He says Indy's convention portfolio would only rise with the passage of Senate Bill 7.

"We're coming off record-setting tourism results," said Gahl. "We also are up against this idea that we're in jeopardy of losing some of our annual conventions if we don't put this expansion in place. There are many other annual conventions who need this expansion to stay in Indianapolis because they're literally outgrowing us."

The bill does not include any provisions for the proposed $550 million Eleven Park development, which includes a $150 million, 20,000-seat stadium for the Indy Eleven soccer team. WIBC/Network Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman reports State Senator Jack Sandlin (R-Indianapolis), who has authored his own bill to help finance a new stadium, says he is open to amending Senate Bill 7 to include the stadium.

Kennedy didn't say whether she'd support including the soccer stadium in the bill, but says the CIB is very enthusiastic about the Eleven Park concept.

Berman says Senate Bill 7 also allow for improvements to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and extend the Indiana Pacers' lease at the downtown arena. The committee is set to vote on the bill next Thursday.

Kennedy says the city’s biggest conventions have said an expanded convention center and more hotel space were significant factors in their decisions to stay in Indy.
  • Perspectives

    • Creating the Work Spaces that Draw Talent to Indianapolis

      The future economy will be driven by data, powered by robotics and heavily invested in the building blocks of nature – biotech and genetic engineering. That’s true of the economy nationwide, and it’s especially true here in Indianapolis, where dominant pharmaceutical and biotech companies are putting us at the cutting edge of the science-based economy. It all sounds larger than life. But the facilities that will house these industries will always be...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Allison and Stanley Chen provided the lead gift for the campaign. (Provided Photo/ISI)

      International School Launches Capital Campaign

      The International School of Indiana has publicly launched a capital campaign to establish a unified campus in Indianapolis. As part of the ONE ISI campaign, the school is looking to raise $6.5 million to build a new school building for pre-elementary and elementary students at the site of its middle and high schools. The public launch follows a 10-month silent phase of the campaign, during which ISI raised $5 million from more than two dozen donors. Currently, ISI's operations are...

    • Amanda Stephenson is the founder and president of Expert RN|MD. (Inside INdiana Business Photo/Mary-Rachel Redman)

      Medical Consulting Firm Opens Downtown Indy HQ

      A medical consulting startup is celebrating the grand opening of its new downtown Indianapolis headquarters. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Expert RN|MD, which provides medical consultation services to law firms and life science companies, is investing $1.7 million in the new location and plans to create up to 21 jobs by the end of 2023. The firm was founded in 2018 and recently renovated the 4,000-square-foot space in the downtown's Wholesale District. In an interview...

    • Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch will be on hand for the announcement.

      Jobs Announcement Set for Indy

      City and state officials will Wednesday make a jobs announcement in downtown Indianapolis. Few details are available, however the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says leaders from an Indianapolis-based startup will be involved.

    • The person selected will fill the vacancy on the ballot left by Mike Pence.

      Vice President Pence to Visit Indy for Free-Trade Discussion

      Vice President Mike Pence will return to Indianapolis on Sept. 26 at an event to discuss the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. A panel will discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, starting at 12:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at MacAllister Machinery, 6300 Southeastern Ave.

    • Money magazine judges Fishers as 3rd best place to live in the U.S.

      Fishers Makes Top 10 List of 'Best Places to Live'

      Three communities in Indiana made the top 100 list of best places to live in the country, but only one made the top 10. Fishers was judged by Money magazine as the third best place to live in the United States, behind Clarksville, Tennessee and Round Rock, Texas.