by Michael J. Shapiro | September 27, 2017
Anaheim Convention Center officials unveiled ACC North yesterday, the venue's largest expansion in nearly 20 years. The $190 million project adds 200,000 square feet for exhibits, ballroom events or meetings. With this new building, the Orange County, Calif., facility - which already was the largest convention center on the West Coast - now offers more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space.
 
The expansion, the venue's seventh since originally opening as an arena 50 years ago, makes the convention center the 11th largest in the country. The flexibility of the new building, with a modern design by Populous architectural firm and Turner Construction Co., allows it to be easily customized for education sessions, workshops, galas and networking events, to name but a few examples.
 
"This is a transformative event for the Anaheim Convention Center," said Tom Morton, executive director of the city's Convention Sports & Entertainment Department. "Not only is this our largest expansion since 2000, it is one of the most significant in terms of the features and innovation it brings to Anaheim."
 
The building has a 10,000-square-foot balcony along Katella Avenue overlooking Disneyland Resort and lined with a wall of windows for the natural light to pour in. Its 200,000 square feet of meeting and event space is spread over two levels, including 100,000 square feet of column-free space on the upper level. The new building's event space has 25-foot ceilings with rigging points spaced every 10 feet, as well as a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge that connects it to the rest of the convention center. More than 1,350 new parking spaces and two new loading docks were added as well.
 
"ACC North delivers on the vision we had to build a modern, expansive space that can be completely customizable for a variety of industries and meetingbplanner needs," noted Jay Burress, president and CEO of Visit Anaheim. "This beautiful new space considerably adds to our client offerings and ability to attract more groups to choose Anaheim."
 
ACC North is expected to yield about 1 million room nights for the destination. The Anaheim Convention Center in full now covers 1.8 million square feet, with more than one million feet of exhibition space, 99 meeting rooms, 352,000 square feet of meeting space, 238,000 square feet of ballroom space and more than 3,000 parking spaces. Free WiFi is offered throughout.