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Study Supports Need For New Raleigh Convention Center

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RALEIGH, N.C. — There appears to be overwhelming support for a new development project in Wake County.

Wake County commissioners and Raleigh City Council members met Monday evening to hear the results of a six-month, $60,000 study of the Raleigh Convention and Conference Center.

Consulting firm KPMG found that Raleigh's convention center is too small, ranking among the smallest of such centers along the East Coast and among capital cities.

Consultants recommend building a structure that is twice as big.

"We've always known that our convention center is really not one that is deserving of a capital county, and that we've needed to do something about it for a long time," said Linda Coleman, Wake County commissioner.

Consultants said a new convention center would bring in nearly a half a billion dollars into the local economy and create nearly 2,000 jobs during its first five years.

The current convention center, located on the Fayetteville Street Mall, was built 25 years ago and renovated in the mid-1990s.

The leader of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau said Raleigh cannot compete with other cities in attracting conventions.

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