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Hotel, convention center expansion under construction lures new events to Indy

National Education Association, Alcoholics Anonymous conventions coming to Indiana Convention Center
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Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 06, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis skyline will soon have a new building to look up to.

The Indiana Convention Center expansion and 38-story Signia Hotel is rising on the former Pan American Plaza next to Union Station. Construction crews poured the concrete foundation for the site during the weekend.

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Construction on the Indiana Convention Center expansion and Signia Hotel in Indianapolis.

"This is solidifying Indianapolis as a top-tier host city and meeting capital of the world," said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

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Visit Indy Executive Vice President Chris Gahl said the expansion has already attracted two future events: the Alcoholics Anonymous convention starting in 2035 and the National Education Association convention in 2027.

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"These are conventions that have never looked at Indianapolis. They couldn't fit or didn't think we had the brand appeal," Gahl said. "This project is turning their heads towards Indianapolis and generating future convention business."

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Gahl believes the expansion is a necessary asset to attract events away from other big cities. It will allow the Indiana Convention Center to host two conventions at one time when it is completed.

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Construction on the Indiana Convention Center expansion and Signia Hotel in Indianapolis.

"We compete daily, viciously, with Nashville, Austin, Orlando, Denver, and New York," Gahl said.

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He claimed the National FFA Convention and the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) both considered leaving before the hotel and convention center expansion broke ground.

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Construction on the Indiana Convention Center expansion and Signia Hotel in Indianapolis.

"We've already retained $1.3 billion in current convention business over the next decade who have renewed their contracts with Indianapolis because of this project."

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The previous convention center expansion in 2011 built on the footprint of the Hoosier Dome and included the JW Marriott hotel.

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Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett praises the construction on the Indiana Convention Center expansion and Signia Hotel.

The hotel and convention center expansion is expected to finish in the fall of 2026. Cranes will tower over the Indianapolis skyline at the site until December 2025.