New Report Prompts Push for New Convention Center

One lawmaker says he's concerned about affordability

Tom Puckett
June 15, 2018 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A new report by Destination NEXT says Buffalo's convention center is missing out on major conferences because it's undersized. That's leading to a push for a new convention center downtown.

Mayor Brown is the first to admit the size of the convention center is turning away conferences. "It doesn't have the ability to house multiple events at the same time depending on the size of the event," says Brown. 

But he says it won't stop the city from developing downtown, supporting business growth and job creation "so we have a market that's so aggressive and so hungry we'll have no choice but to build the proper type of convention center in downtown Buffalo." He believes the demand is there, and the will is soon to follow.

Brown says a new convention center is important to tourism, job creation and economic development, and "we're moving in the right direction so we can make some sound decisions about a new convention center."

One lawmaker who's not so sure is Erie County Legislator Joe Lorigo. "Everybody would love a new convention center. The biggest question is whether we can afford it," says Lorigo. "We've been having discussions, and until I see we can afford to build a new one, we're better off utilizing ways to use the current one better."

Lorigo adds constituents are more concerned about road repairs and potholes than a new convention center. 

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