Austin Convention CenterEdit profile
The Neal Kocurek Memorial Austin Convention Center is a multi-purpose convention center located in Austin, Texas, USA. The building is the home of the Texas Rollergirls, and was also home to the Austin Toros basketball team, until their move to the Cedar Park Center in nearby Cedar Park in 2010. The Convention Center encloses 881,400 square feet (81,880 m 2). The five exhibit halls combined have 246,097 square feet (22,863.2 m 2) of column-free space. There are 54 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, including one of the largest ballrooms in Texas with 43,300 square feet (4,020 m 2). The origin of the convention center goes back to 1983, when civic leaders became concerned that Austin was losing money from potential convention business because the city's current convention facility, Palmer Auditorium, was too small. The Austin city council unveiled a concept for a $35 million convention center as part of a $350 million complex of hotels and parkland on the south shore of Town Lake (now Lady Bird Lake). Resistance to this plan by neighborhood groups near the proposed site and downtown business leaders caused the city to consider several other sites, finally choosing the downtown site near Waller Creek for construction. Financing was provided for by a US$69 million bond sale, approved by referendum on July 29, 1989 . The grand opening ceremony took place on July 4, 1992 On September 1, 1999, construction aimed at nearly doubling the size of the convention center from 441,000 square feet (41,000 m 2) to 881,000 square feet (81,800 m 2) began. . The grand reopening took place on May 18, 2002. The Austin City Council changed the name of the Austin Convention Center on July 29, 2004 to honor civic leader Dr. W. Neal Kocurek (1936”“2004), who helped rally community support for construction of a convention center for Austin. Kocurek died after suffering a stroke on March 29, 2004. The formal dedication took place on December 2, 2004.