Saturday, April 25, 2015

Convention Center: Pa. delays SMG approval; CEO says she'll be gone

Sometime this fall?

Convention Center: Pa. delays SMG approval; CEO says she'll be gone

Ameenah Young
Ameenah Young

The Pennsylvania Convention Center isn't going to make the board's Oct. 1 target date for replacing CEO Ameenah Young's adminstration with Conshohocken-based SMG's new team -- there's a lot of state paperwork to resolve, for one thing -- but SMG is already recruiting Young aides -- those who haven't left, there are at least 21 vacancies on the staff of 100.

Young, who's been at the North Broad St. venue, on and off, for 25 years, says she's not expecting to get an offer. Even when hires are decided, tough bargaining remains: Labor union contracts have been extended into next year. SMG hopes to ease set-up rules so small vendors, at least, can do more of their own work cheap.

When will the state, whose taxpayers still owe more than $700 million for the center, sign off on the deal? Maybe sometime in October, as the Corbett administration and board members hope. Or maybe they'll wait until the quarter ends Dec. 31, as some Harrisburg bureaucrats privately would prefer. But won't delay complicate efforts to bring in more shows so hotel rooms don't go vacant over the next few years? More in my column in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer here.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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