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ORANGE COUNTY MAYOR FAVOURS CONVENTION CENTRE EXPANSION OVER FLORIDA CITRUS BOWL posted on: 1/5/2012 08:49:12
AMERICAS - The Mayor of Orange County has confirmed she wants to triple spending to maintain the Orange County Convention Centre despite critics claims that the money would be better spent on the 76-year-old Florida Citrus Bowl.
Mayor Teresa Jacobs said plans are in place for a projected US$175m five-year plan for the convention centre, paid for with tax revenues from the improving tourism sector, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The plan includes roofing, technology, electric and air-conditioning systems, as well as redecoration.
However, supporters of one of Orlando’s other major event venues, the Citrus Bowl stadium, hoped some of the tax fund could help a delayed renovation of their facility.
"If you put all your eggs in one basket, you may exhaust your ability to react to all the other priorities in the community," CEO of Florida Citrus Sports Steve Hogan told the newspaper.
Orlando and Orange County leaders agreed to a US$1.1bn deal in 2007 to build a new arena for the Orlando Magic, a new performing-arts center and stadium upgrades, a plan that was derailed by the recession.
With more than 1.3m visitors expected this year, 185,000sqm of exhibit space and a 2,643-seat theatre, the Orange County Convention Centre is expected to generate more than $2bn in economic impact this year.
During the past decade $10m was spent each year on maintenance, a figure Jacobs wants to increase to $35m annually for the next five years.