NEW ORELANS, La. – The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, the governing board of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, has announced it is placing a high priority on its role in the post COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Our core mission at the Exhibition Hall Authority is to serve our community as its most powerful economic driver,” said Walt Leger III, recently appointed chairman of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority. “With our city and nation in crisis, the Center had the unique ability to serve our people as a medical monitoring facility to relieve pressure on area hospitals and provide care to those in our community most in need.
“When our community transitions from emergency response to recovery, the Authority will be laser-focused on stimulating our world class hospitality economy and helping tens of thousands of our neighbors and thousands of businesses get back to work,” Leger added.
“I firmly believe our first duty during these challenging times is to provide service to our community in its time of need, and to promote the public health and safety of our employees and the public at large,” said Michael Sawaya, president and general manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. “Additionally, the convention center will continue to play a major role as a driving force in the local economy, and will be a critical component to the economic recovery. Our plans to reinvest in our facilities and improve our competitive position are more important now than ever.”
In 2018, the Authority approved a five-year capital improvement plan totaling more than $500 million for the convention center, which includes critical facility investments.
It will also include a plan for moving forward on a transformative upriver development, to be discussed in the upcoming months.
“When the Authority Board of Commissioners is able to resume regular meetings, I am committed to a fresh look at a dynamic multi-use upriver development which will include a meaningful opportunity for public input,” said Leger.