DALLAS, TEXAS — Dallas city council has approved a tentative plan to tear down the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and replace it with a new one.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, councillors gave direction for consultants to begin design work on a new 2.5 million-square-foot convention center, which currently has an estimated price tag of $2 million. It is also reported construction on the convention center will begin in 2024 and be complete in 2028, funded by hotel tax revenue.
In the article, it is stated “city officials say the convention center doesn’t have enough rooms, modern updates or surrounding amenities to allow Dallas to draw the most lucrative trade shows, conventions and other events.”
The Morning News article states the convention center booked 84 events in 2019, 33 in 2020 (impacted largely by the COVID-19 pandemic), and 52 in 2021. There are 45 or so events scheduled at the facility in the first nine months of 2022.
Kay Bailey Convention Center originally opened in 1950 as the Dallas Memorial Auditorium and has undergone a number of expansions and renovations since.
The center requires $500 million to $700 million in repairs, according to the Morning News. The need for a new roof would run between $30 million to $40 million in itself.