Construction has barely started on its expansion, but the KI Convention Center has its first national booking.
The Groundwater Protection Council, based in Oklahoma City, will host its national convention at KI in September 2016.
“This expansion is going to put us in a position where we don’t have to say our convention center isn’t big enough, unfortunately, to host your convention. Today, we are big enough to host a lot of big conventions,” said Brad Toll, president and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday on North Adams Street.
The new section of the convention center, 333 Main St., will be above both Adams Street and the Clarion Hotel parking lot. It will add 30,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing the overall total meeting space to 75,000 square feet. The entire convention center, when completed, will be 145,000 square feet.
Financing for the $21 million project includes $12 million from excess money in a room-tax stabilization fund provided by Brown County. Other funding is provided by a $2 million state grant, a $2 million naming rights deal with KI, and the city of Green Bay. The expansion is expected to bring an additional $4 million dollars annually to the Green Bay area.