The state of Nevada is closer to raising $400 million to pour into a big expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, spring home of the annual NAB Show.
Officials of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Technology Association were among the organizers of large trade shows who testified in front of a special state legislative session this week.
The state senate subsequently approved a measure calling for the LVCC to be expanded by a total of 1.4 million square feet overall space, with 600,000 square feet devoted to additional exhibit space. The total cost of the LVCC project is expected to be $1.4 billion.
The bill moves to the state assembly, where debate was expected to begin today, then it would go to Gov. Brian Sandoval, who tweeted support on Tuesday.
The senate version also includes funding for a new domed stadium to attract a professional football franchise to the city. Both projects would be partly funded by an increase in hotel room taxes.
Tim McGuinness of the International Council of Shopping Centers; Megan Tanel of ConExpo/ConAg; Rossi Ralenkotter, President/CEO of LVCVA; Chris Brown of NAB; and Karen Chupka of CTA.
The LVCC generated $2.1 billion in economic impact from trade shows in 2015, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which operates it. The NAB and Consumer Technology Association both support the expansion, which would stretch the LVCC “district” across Paradise Road and eventually all the way to Las Vegas Boulevard.
The LVCC already boasts 2 million square feet of exhibit space and dedicated meeting space of nearly 250,000 square feet. The 2016 NAB Show attracted approximately 103,000 registered visitors in April; the CTA’s CES show is considered one of the city’s largest and typically attracts more than 150,000.
“The expansion and renovation of the LVCC is necessary to support the growth of the NAB Show,” says Ann Marie Cumming, senior vice president of communications for NAB.
“We need more in terms of quantity and quality of space for the convention. At over 1 million net square feet of exhibit space, we are just shy of selling out the entire convention facility, and we absolutely need additional space in order to accommodate new educational programs, networking and adjunct events as well as demand for private meeting space.”
“Our hope is that the renovation will result in a much more modern and functional facility with integrated common space that is inviting and creates a positive experience for NAB Show participants,” she said.
NAB’s Chris Brown, executive vice president of conventions and business operations, testified; a quote from Brown, shown, is among the pro-expansion comments posted on social media by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Karen Chupka, CTA senior vice president for CES and corporate business strategy, also testified in support, according to the CTA Twitter feed.
A vote on the bill by the state assembly could come as soon as today. Its fate in the Republican-controlled chamber is unclear, according to those familiar with the project. The funding measure would need a two-thirds majority vote to pass the assembly.
Big Changes Ahead for LVCC (July 2015)