Supporters of convention hall upgrade might want to read this

convention3.jpgWay to go city of L.A. - the pending makeover of the Los Angeles Convention Hall - orchestrated by AEG as a way to make its downtown football stadium seem more palatable - will be happening just as the overall convention business is slowing down. Matter of fact, a glut of convention space nationwide has led to greater competition among cities - so much so that dealmaking tends to include lots of giveaways. A real revenue-generator, eh? From the WSJ:

Between 2000 and 2011, convention-center exhibit-hall space expanded by 35% nationally while attendance fell 1.7% in the same time, said Heywood Sanders, a professor of public administration at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and an expert on convention centers. Attendance is down 5% since 2007. Douglas L. Ducate, president and chief executive of the Dallas-based Center for Exhibition Industry Research, has been in the business since 1968. "It's more competitive today than at any time in my career," he says.


Mr. Sanders, the University of Texas professor, predicts the glut of convention space will only get worse, because a number of cities continue to push expansions. He blames cities' hired consultants, who he said predict "all these people are going to come and do wonderful things to your economy. But the problem is they aren't coming anymore, because there are lots of other convention centers ... that desperately want that business," he said. "So Atlanta steals from Boston, Orlando steals from Chicago and Las Vegas steals from everywhere."

Earlier: L.A.'s misguided push for more convention business

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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