by Michael J. Shapiro | November 22, 2013
The city of Long Beach, Calif., unveiled the new Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena, a new $10 million, 45,000-square-foot space with state-of-the-art light and sound capabilities. The new venue, which is attached to the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, uses curtains that drop down to hide the arena's seating areas, creating an intimate ballroom setting on the arena floor. A $1.6 million steel-truss grid system, similar to those found above theatrical stages, is suspended above the space and rigged with state-of-the-art A/V, allowing event designers flexibility when setting lighting schemes. The curtains, grid and lighting can be adjusted by remote for on-the-fly changes. According to Long Beach officials, the grid system and in-house A/V fixtures can save planners up to $300,000 per event on equipment rentals and labor costs. Already, the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau has booked seven groups in the space, representing an estimated economic impact of $29 million.