Erie County is making a huge, long-term mistake. It may be shelving its planned, state-of-the-art convention center. If it continues using its long-obsolete, 1970s center it will continue to be a joke. Erie County’s peer cities have much larger state-of-the-art convention centers. Those peer cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, etc. have long appreciated the millions of dollars visiting conventioneers annually pump into their local economies creating new jobs, sales taxes, development, etc.
These peer cities do not have a benefit like Buffalo could have by its world-renowned nearby attraction, Niagara Falls. Erie County’s economy will continue to sacrifice those benefits long term with its obsolete current center. Unless Erie County becomes emboldened to change its present course and build a new competitive convention center that will benefit our whole community year after year, Western New York with its 1970s center will continue to pay an unaffordable price.