Team named to study convention center expansion, possible new arena

The Maryland Stadium Authority has approved a team to explore expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center as well as construction of a new downtown arena and hotel.

The study will assess what combination of elements is feasible — a convention center expansion, hotel and new venue to replace Royal Farms Arena — and how they might fit together.

The team includes Ayers Saint Gross, a Baltimore design firm; LMN Architects of Seattle; Clark Construction of Bethesda; Populous, a Kansas City firm that designed Oriole Park at Camden Yards; and Perkins Eastman, a New York-based design firm.

The study is not to exceed $460,000 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Visit Baltimore, which oversees the city’s convention business, have called on the city and state to improve the convention center, citing the need to compete with bigger facilities in other cities.

Maryland Stadium Authority to commission new look at overhauling convention center

Maryland Stadium Authority to commission new look at overhauling convention center

City and state officials are looking to revive a proposal to build a bigger Baltimore convention center, an idea that previously failed to get off the ground despite years of discussion.

The Maryland Stadium Authority plans to commission a study looking at ways to renovate the existing center, developing…

City and state officials are looking to revive a proposal to build a bigger Baltimore convention center, an idea that previously failed to get off the ground despite years of discussion.

The Maryland Stadium Authority plans to commission a study looking at ways to renovate the existing center, developing…

(Natalie Sherman)

The issue was brought into greater focus by the 2013 decision by organizers of Otakon to move their growing anime convention to a larger center in Washington, D.C., after 2016.

In a more ambitious proposal, the convention center expansion would be combined with a new arena and hotel. The arena opened in 1962 as the Baltimore Civic Center and seats between 10,000 and 15,000, depending on the event.

Funding for the study is being provided by public and private sources, including the city and state. Based on the recommendations, a second phase of the study may be authorized later.

Tourism industry presses harder for support

Tourism industry presses harder for support

Members of Baltimore’s tourism industry are pressing harder for public support for advertising and new facilities, sounding a familiar refrain with new urgency as they face a downturn in visitors in the aftermath of April’s rioting.

Officials are highlighting the importance of tourism to the regional…

Members of Baltimore’s tourism industry are pressing harder for public support for advertising and new facilities, sounding a familiar refrain with new urgency as they face a downturn in visitors in the aftermath of April’s rioting.

Officials are highlighting the importance of tourism to the regional…

(Natalie Sherman)

The study team was approved by the stadium authority at its Tuesday meeting.

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