About America’s Center Convention Complex
America’s Center is a major venue that opened in 1977 and has held numerous events over the years, from the Working Women’s Survival Show to the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting. It offers unique and flexible meeting facilities, providing a total exhibit space of 502,000 square feet and accommodating up to 1,690 booths. The complex includes four distinct facilities: the Cervantes Convention Center, The Dome at America’s Center, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center, and the Ferrara Theatre.
Location and Amenities
The complex is conveniently located in downtown St. Louis, close to hotels, dining, shopping, and public transportation. It is equipped with a broad range of facilities, such as air conditioning, AV facilities, a business center, elevators, food services, internet access, and an attached hotel. The convention center also offers various services like on-site concierge, restaurant reservation services, ATM, coat check, and event planning.
8th & Washington
St. Louis, MO 63101
Phone: 1 800-916-8938
Fax: 1 314-342-5040
Email: [email protected]
The America’s Center Convention Complex, located in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, is facing financial challenges in its ambitious expansion project. Kitty Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, revealed that the agency does not have enough funds to proceed with the second half of the $210 million project due to rising construction costs and inflation. The initial funding plan was a 50-50 split between the city and county.
The expansion, first proposed four years ago, involves a major reconfiguration of the complex. The first phase aims to add 92,000 square feet of exhibit space along Cole Street, while the second phase includes a 65,000-square-foot ballroom along Ninth Street and a public plaza in place of a current parking lot.
The project has faced resistance and delays from political squabbles, the coronavirus pandemic, and disputes over associated projects. A shortage of funds might ignite another battle with St. Louis County over how to finance the rest of the expansion. The county currently has no plans to increase its contribution.
Proposed Sources of Funding
The convention center expansion is set to receive an additional $30 million from the Rams settlement. Furthermore, Ratcliffe reported that the visitors commission applied for a $1 million grant from the State of Missouri’s American Rescue Plan Act funds for the expansion’s park, which is estimated to cost $3.7 million. However, the convention center is competing with other city attractions for these funds, and the state’s decision is expected next month.
Current Status of the Project
Phase one of the project, which has tapped into funds initially earmarked for phase two, is still on track for completion. However, the cost for the second phase is yet to be determined as officials wait to go out for bid again after receiving no proposals for the second half earlier this year.
The expansion of the America’s Center Convention Complex represents a significant development for the city of St. Louis, promising enhanced facilities for conventions and large events. However, the funding shortfall is a substantial challenge. The success of the project will depend on securing additional funding sources, negotiating with the county, and managing rising construction costs.