Grand Wayne Center Expansion Proves to be Good Idea

By Emily Dwire

February 10, 2013 Updated Feb 10, 2013 at 10:03 PM EDT

The expansion of the Grand Wayne Center that happened almost ten years ago did more for the city than anyone expected.

The $39 million project, along with other downtown projects, has helped revitalize downtown Fort Wayne.

Before the expansion, the convention center was turning away events because it was too small or already booked full. Now, the convention center is drawing in national conventions instead of just state and regional.

This year, the Grand Wayne Center is already booked for eight national events, including the Great Lakes Convention, and the Brewery Collectibles Club of America. Both are expected to bring 2,000 people.

Officials say features like Parkview Field help draw more people to the convention center, and vice versa. In fact, some people schedule their events around the Tincaps baseball season.

The Grand Wayne Center saw its best year yet in 2012, hosting 46 conventions, and they expect to host up to 55 this year.

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