Austin Convention Center

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Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center
Austin Convention Center
Convention center seen from northwest corner
Address 500 East Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX 78701
Owner City of Austin
Built 1989-1992
Renovated 1999, 2002, 2010, 2011
Opened July 4, 1992[1]
Construction cost $35 million
Former name(s) Austin Convention Center (1992-2004)[2]
Classroom-style seating 24 (Austin Suite)
Theatre seating 5,285 (Sport Hall)
3,940 (Grand Ballroom)
Enclosed space
 • Total space 881,400 square feet (82,000 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor 247,052 square feet (23,000 m2)
 • Breakout/meeting 58,152 square feet (5,400 m2)
 • Ballroom 63,928 square feet (5,900 m2)
Parking 2 garages, 1685 total spaces
Bicycle facilities 124 bike racks[3]
Website Venue Website

The Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center is a multi-purpose convention center located in Austin, Texas, USA. The building is the home of the Texas Rollergirls, and was also home to the Austin Toros basketball team, until their move to the Cedar Park Center in nearby Cedar Park in 2010.

About[edit]

The Austin Convention Center interior

The Convention Center encloses 881,400 square feet (81,880 m2). The five exhibit halls combined have 246,097 square feet (22,863.2 m2) of column-free space. There are 54 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, including one of the largest ballrooms in Texas with 43,300 square feet (4,020 m2).[4]

The origin of the convention center goes back to 1983, when civic leaders became concerned that Austin was losing money from potential convention business because the city's current convention facility, Palmer Auditorium, was too small. The Austin city council unveiled a concept for a $35 million convention center as part of a $350 million complex of hotels and parkland on the south shore of Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake). Resistance to this plan by neighborhood groups near the proposed site and downtown business leaders caused the city to consider several other sites, finally choosing the downtown site near Waller Creek for construction. Financing was provided for by a US$69 million bond sale, approved by referendum on July 29, 1989.[5] The grand opening ceremony took place on July 4, 1992.[6]

On September 1, 1999, construction aimed at nearly doubling the size of the convention center from 441,000 square feet (41,000 m2) to 881,000 square feet (81,800 m2) began.[7] The grand reopening took place on May 18, 2002.[8]

The Austin City Council changed the name of the Austin Convention Center on July 29, 2004 to honor civic leader Dr. W. Neal Kocurek (1936–2004), who helped rally community support for construction of a convention center for Austin. Kocurek died after suffering a stroke on March 29, 2004. The formal dedication took place on December 2, 2004.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Inside the Austin Convention Center". Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Texas: Cox Enterprises). June 28, 1992. p. C1. 
  2. ^ "Austin Convention Center renamed for civic leader". Austin Business Journal. American City Business Journals. December 4, 2004. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Directions, Maps, and Parking". Austin Convention Center. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b City to unveil plaque honoring civic leader Neal Kocurek
  5. ^ "Convention center bond sale passes". The Daily Texan. July 31, 1989. 
  6. ^ "City Convention Center opens on time, with style". The Daily Texan. July 6, 1992. 
  7. ^ "Convention Center expansion could boost economic impact". The Daily Texan. September 2, 1999. 
  8. ^ Community Open House to unveil Convention Center expansion with Austin flair

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°15′45.10″N 97°44′24.43″W / 30.2625278°N 97.7401194°W / 30.2625278; -97.7401194