Pennsylvania Convention Center Expansion
|JOHN TIERNO / Staff Artist|
Either way, lines should not be a problem - the expansion has 368 toilets and urinals.
Each 1,000-square-foot section of floor required 100 trucks of concrete.
The $786 million Convention Center expansion - the largest public-works project in state history - has given Philadelphia a great commodity in the competitive business of hosting conventions: a total of one million square feet of sellable space.
During its 98-year existence, the National Safety Council - an organization with 54,000-plus members headquartered just outside Chicago - never considered Philadelphia for its annual convention. It can now, and will be here in October for seven days.
To maximize a city's position in the national realm of convention-hosting, there is an exquisite tension between the size of a convention center and the number of hotel rooms that will serve it.
Changing Skyline: The supersized Philadelphia Convention Center is a virtual clone of the original 1993 building. It exhibits all the same strengths and limitations of that 18-year-old design, with one notable improvement: Now people will be able to find the front door.
1. IS IT BIG ENOUGH?
Even with the expansion, the Convention Center is only the 14th-largest in the country in exhibit
space. It does have the 11th-largest maximum contiguous space, though.
2. WILL IT LEAD TO MORE BUSINESS?
The space gives the center flexibility. During the time that large gated events such as the Flower and Auto Shows are set up and run, the facility can still handle large national conventions with attendees who stay overnight in local hotels. The chart below shows 2011 Convention Center events that utilize more space than existed in original building.
3. WHAT WILL BE THE ECONOMIC IMPACT?
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau projects that current convention bookings will lead to a total of $2.7 billion spent in the city by 2020. Estimated annual impact for fiscal years 2011-13.
4. IS IT WORTH THE PRICE?
This thing wasn’t cheap. Including the original building, the state-funded Convention Center cost more than $1.5 billion to build.