NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Leaders in Niagara Falls want to build a new convention and event center downtown. The center would be much larger than the current one on Old Falls Street. Officials say they’re currently waiting for the state to sign off on a feasibility study.
New York State Asemblyman John Ceretto said, “Once they approve it, which I hope is soon, it will go to the power proceed board and they will allocate the funding and our estimate is, we are talking about $150,000 for a study. We are not talking about a huge amount of money.”
Before 2002, the City of Niagara Falls had a much larger convention center, which is now the Seneca-Niagara Casino. The replacement for the old convention center on Old Falls Street is much smaller.
State Assemblyman John Ceretto says the current facility can only hold so many people, and it only offers a small variety of events. Local businesses say, once the tourism season dies down, Niagara Falls needs year-round attractions.
Assemblyman Ceretto said, “For real good paying jobs, you have to have an economy that goes all year-round.”
Right now, the idea is for a mixed use facility that can hold around 8,000 to 10,000 people. One of the possible areas would be on the vacant lot on Falls and 10th Street. The new venue would open the doors to events like minor league sports, concerts, and MMA.
Michael DiCienzo, the Vice President of Development at Canadian Niagara Hotels Incorporated, said, “It’s a must have in order to be a world class destination, that market really needs a good shot in the arm to help develop a year-round business.”
Assemblyman Ceretto said, “The one thing that we are missing so that we are a truly a viable economic engine in the Niagara Falls area is family attractions, this convention center will do that.”
The resolution for the feasibility study already passed the Niagara County Legislature and the Niagara Falls City Council.