CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Work has begun on Charlotte’s $126-million Convention Center expansion that will add 50,000 square feet of meeting space and make other upgrades to the 25-year-old building.
The improvements will make the center a more competitive host for leading events, while connecting it to the Stonewall corridor, a booming hub undergoing a $2.7-billion redevelopment.
“Charlotte visitor spending hit a record $7.4 billion in the region last year, and one in nine residents work in hospitality or tourism,” said Tom Murray, CEO of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
“Expanding the Charlotte Convention Center is really an investment into the future of our tourism industry,” said Mayor Vi Lyles. “We are excited to work with project partners to create a bigger and better convention center that will generate more meetings, trade shows, sporting events and gatherings of all kinds.”
Additional updates to the configuration of the Charlotte Convention Center will allow for an increase in meeting rooms and soft spaces, highlighted by the ability to configure the Richardson Ballroom into four meeting rooms of 7,700 square feet each.
When the renovations are complete, there will be a pedestrian bridge linking the new wing of the Convention Center to the Westin hotel on South College Street and the Stonewall Station LYNX Light Rail stop.
Since opening in 1995, the Charlotte Convention Center has welcomed more than 11 million guests and served as the region’s go-to venue for conventions, trade shows, banquets, theater style conferences, product launches, sporting events and more.
During the expansion, the Charlotte Convention Center will remain open, hosting major events including the Mid-Atlantic Boat Show in February 2020, and the Republican National Convention in August 2020. The project is anticipated to be completed by late summer 2021.