Bigger OCCC May Be Coming

Executive Director Kathie Canning reportedly plans to propose a $500 million expansion of the facility and says it could attract 25 new events, bringing in an additional 250,000 people, if the expansion is done.

Does the second-largest convention center in the United States truly need to expand? That question will be asked of Florida's Orange County Commission by early next year as the executive director of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) seeks permission to add a 200,000-square-foot multi-purpose venue, according to an Oct. 29 report by Gabrielle Russon of the Orlando Sentinel.

Her report says Executive Director Kathie Canning plans to propose a $500 million expansion of the facility and says it could attract 25 new events, bringing in an additional 250,000 people, if the expansion is done.

The convention center represents more than $2 billion in annual economic activity for the Orlando region, so the stakes are big. According to information available on its website, the center's total square footage is 7 million, including 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space, and it is the second-largest convention facility in the United States. "The flexibility of our spaces can accommodate any number of audiences and sizes. Pro tip: If visiting, be sure to wear your walking shoes and charge your fitness wristbands," the center's website advises visitors.

The first big OSH-related event in 2018 at the OCCC will be the 2018 Grainger Show, taking place Feb. 11-14 and expected to bring about 13,000 attendees to the venue, according to OCCC's online calendar.

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