Ceremony Marks Major Milestone in Construction of New Convention Center in Downtown Albany
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the "topping off" of the new Albany Capital Center, marking the completion of the steel construction phase of the new convention center in downtown Albany. Since breaking ground in March 2015, more than 120 construction workers have been employed to build the state-of-the-art facility. Already, 18 events estimated to generate $300,000 in revenue have booked space in the facility once it opens in March 2017.
"The new Albany Capital Center will play a key role in transforming the Capital Region into a top destination for major events and conferences, attracting visitors and further growing the local economy." Governor Cuomo said. "We are now one step closer to a convention center in downtown Albany that is worthy of the Empire State's capital city."
Operated by SMG, the Albany Capital Center will offer event space from 1,000 to 50,000-square-feet, accommodating between 10 and 5,000 people. Housing 22,500-square-feet of ballroom/exhibit space, six meeting rooms with 9,200-square-feet of space, and 13,500-square-feet of pre-function space, the facility also provides visitors with top-notch amenities that include a full catering kitchen, a full range audio/visual/lighting equipment and three levels of on-site parking, as well as a direct connection to the Times Union Center.
"The Albany Capital Center is part of Governor Cuomo's commitment to breathing new life into downtowns across Upstate New York," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "As an epicenter for tourism and events of all sizes, not only are we creating jobs, we are also opening the door for new visitors to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores, which will benefit the entire region."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Today's topping off ceremony brings us one step closer to completing the Capital Center, which will be a critical component in the ongoing revitalization of downtowný Albany. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the state has invested billions of dollars to grow our regional economies and spur job creation in every corner of the state, and we look forward to the significant economic opportunity the Albany Capital Center will generate."
New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "OGS has operated the Empire State Plaza Convention Center for decades and we know the financial ripple effect that attracting more visitors to this area has on the community. Governor Cuomo has made economic development one of his top priorities and the Capital Center is an excellent example. When this building opens next year and we harness the capacity in this space, the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, and Times Union Center into a large and flexible convention and meeting venue, we can expect excellent results for the Capital Region."
Albany Convention Center Authority Chairman Gavin Donohue said, "Today's event marks an important milestone in the construction phase of this exciting project. When open in March 2017, this venue will greatly benefit Albany and the Capital Region as it will bring business and tourism to the area and generate growth."
Senator Neil Breslin said, "Albany is on the rise and the topping off of the Albany Capital Center is further proof of that fact. Once completed, the Albany convention center will help continue the transformation of our state's Capital City and provide more good paying jobs, world-class amenities and encourage more investment and small business growth. I applaud the Governor, his administration, SMG, the Albany Convention Center Authority and all of the elected officials who have worked tirelessly to ensure this project would move forward and be a success."
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "A state-of-the-art convention center in the heart of Albany’s downtown is a transformative project that will spur economic growth and attract more visitors to New York’s Capital City. As someone who lives and works in Albany, I look forward to The Albany Capital Center's completion and the revitalization it will bring to the area. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his vision in investing in the core of our region with this project."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "This exciting phase brings us one step closer to the opening of the Albany Capital Center. From the start of its construction to when it opens next March, the new convention center continues to boost our region’s economy by bringing hundreds of jobs to the area, attracting visitors to our local restaurants and businesses, and making the capital city a top tourist destination. As a member of the Albany Convention Center Authority, I'm proud to have supported this proposal from its inception, and I look forward to the many opportunities the center will bring to the Capital Region in the years to follow."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Today is a day to join together to celebrate the ongoing rebirth of the city of Albany and the county. The "topping off ceremony" marks another milestone in the progress of the Albany Capital Center as the last beam is put into place. I am pleased that the county has played a role in building the Albany Capital Center and that the project, along with the improvements at the Times Union Center, will enhance Albany as a tourist and entertainment destination for years to come. I commend the ACCA, the various unions and all the partners involved for working to realize this project."
Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan, "The topping off ceremony today is a great sign of progress in the City of Albany. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and his team for his leadership on a powerful project that will have a dramatic ripple effect on jobs, tourism, and the local economy."
The "topping off" ceremony is time-honored tradition that includes a small evergreen tree being affixed to a 30-foot-long beam which is then hoisted into the air with the help of ironworkers and a large crane.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 100 accounts worldwide. For more information, visit www.smgworld.com.
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