by Jessi Minneci | December 04, 2019

Local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony this week for an expansion to the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center, which will include new meeting spaces and the addition of a pedestrian bridge linking the venue to the 700-room Westin Charlotte Hotel. The $126.9 million expansion is expected to be completed by late summer 2021, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for fall of that year. 

"Expanding the Charlotte Convention Center is really an investment into the future of our tourism industry," said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. "We are excited to work with project partners to create a bigger and better convention center that will generate more meetings, trade shows, sporting events and gatherings of all kinds."

Charlotte visitor spending hit a record $7.4 billion last year, according to a news release. "The expansion of the Charlotte Convention Center is a response to the city's appeal as a visitor destination, with the goal of bringing business to the region, increasing Charlotte's competitiveness and solidifying our reputation as one of the premier meetings destinations in the southeast," said Tom Murray, CEO of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

The pedestrian bridge will be a primary component of the project and will link the new "Stonewall Corridor" wing of the convention center, currently under development, to the Westin, the city's largest convention center hotel. The expansion will increase the capacity of the center's existing meeting space by 50,000 square feet, including 26,000 square feet of breakout space comprised of 15 meeting rooms and 24,000 square feet of prefunction space. 

The venue, which will remain open throughout the construction period, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020. For more information, visit the CRVA website