Will stadium upgrades affect future of Charlotte Convention Cent - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Will stadium upgrades affect future of Charlotte Convention Center?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte city leaders say giving the Carolina Panthers public money for stadium renovations is crucial if the city wants to keep the team, and stay economically viable. But the money for stadium improvements is coming from the Convention Center. What happens to the Convention Center?

"What's happening with the Panthers won't affect our business as usual" says Tom Murray with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Murray says "we'll have sufficient funds to keep in good shape going forward. Those funds that were being used to help the Panthers were really for long term planning."

According to Murray, the convention center fund has $24M. The city would borrow in capacity to get the amount to 110 million dollars. Over 10 years 87 million will go to stadium renovations – what does it mean for the Convention Center?

 "What we are going to do from a long term perspective is commission a study that figures out what we need in the next 10, 15, 20 years" says Murray. "And thoughtfully takes what money we will have available to us to make sure we preserve it for time to we will need them."

Charlotte area leaders say the an updated convention center is key to remaining competitive in the hospitality and convention business.

"The beauty of the convention business and why cities are attracted to it is it brings guests to your city  – that come here and bring their money with them and leave it in Charlotte. They're incredible investors" says Michael Smith of Center City Partners.

Smith says convention guests trickle out to hotels and restaurants.

"It's amazing. I heard a stat recently that either one in 7 or one in 8 jobs are in hospitality" says Smith. "It takes the convention business to bring in these masses of customers that consume, that fill our hotels, that use our restaurants, rent special even spaces."

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