Consultant recommends Dallas build new $1.9 billion convention center

A consultant hired by the city of Dallas told a council committee that the city should build a new convention center facility.

The recommendation comes despite the fact the city still owes money on an expansion of the current convention center and on the convention center hotel, Omni Dallas Hotel.

The consultant told city council members the current convention center doesn’t have enough meeting rooms or modern facilities inside. They claim that will leave Dallas left in the dust when it comes to attracting big conventions.

The council’s transportation and infrastructure committee would have to sign off on a proposal from the consultant and city staff before the entire council could vote. Dallas voters would also need to approve increasing the city's hotel/motel tax to help pay for the project.

WSP USA Inc. said a new facility would cost $1.9 billion and could be built to the west of the existing convention center in the southwest corner of downtown.

City staff told the committee the city still owes more than $200 million from the most recent convention center upgrade and as much as $400 million on the hotel.

The committee opted to delay by at least one month any recommendation on the proposal for a new facility.

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