Final Touches on Cleveland Convention Center

CLEVELAND–  History in the making is almost finished, literally.

The Cleveland convention center, touted as a prescription for Cleveland’s success, is slated to open in June.

FOX 8 got a sneak peek inside as construction crews put on the final touches.

The behemoth center stretches from St. Clair Avenue and Ontario Street to Lakeside Ave.

“We call it an economic engine for our community,” Jim Bennett with the Convention Center said.

There are several pieces to this innovative puzzle.

First, there is the largest convention center in the Cleveland area.

Eighty trade shows are already booked.

“The 80 shows end up being about 200,00 people and we’re sneaking up on 200,00 room nights, people who otherwise wouldn’t come to town and are booking hotel rooms,” Bennett said.

“They are going to be in our restaurants; they’re going to be flying into our United hub and it’s just going to bring opportunity for all of us greater Clevelanders,” Tony Prusak, director of convention sales, said.

There is the Global Center for Health Innovations showroom, where companies permanently display the latest and greatest in medical technology.

“General Electric, Steris, Cardinal Health from Columbus, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Phillips Health Care, just to name a few,” Bennett said

Did we mention there’s a ballroom?

“It’s the largest grand ballroom in Cleveland. We can serve up to 1,800 people for dinner in the ballroom,” Prusak said.

The first big convention is the National Senior Summer Games to be held in July. About 35,000 people are expected to attend.