Kansas City Convention Center Debuts $150 Million Expansion

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KCCC Grand Ballroom
KCCC Grand Ballroom

In order to attract more groups, Kansas City is creating a new product for meetings and conventions. The Kansas City Convention Center just unveiled a new grand ballroom for up to 4,000 pax. The space opens up to an outdoor plaza, creating an easy transition from a meeting/event to al fresco meals with outstanding city views. With creative venues for meals, nightlife and meetings, Kansas City may also be the next host city for the Republican National Convention. We emailed Derek Klaus, senior communications manager for Visit KC to learn more about what’s new in Kansas City.

What is new at the Kansas City Convention Center?

As part of a recent $150 million improvement project, the center’s meeting space was renovated, and the Kansas City Convention Center welcomed one of the country’s largest green ballrooms—the 46,484-sf Grand Ballroom. Certified LEED Silver, the facility features waterless plumbing, energy-efficient heating & cooling and one of the most sophisticated lighting systems in the world.

What is the total meeting space of the convention center?

The KC Convention Center houses 388,800 sf of contiguous, column-free exhibit space. That’s the equivalent of eight football fields.

  • 388,800 square feet of column-free exhibit space on one floor
  • 48 state-of-the-art meeting rooms
  • One of America’s largest “green” ballrooms (46,484 sf)
  • 10,700-seat arena and 2,400-seat fine arts performance center
  • Amenities include complimentary WiFi and open catering policy
  • Just steps from downtown hotels and entertainment
  • Onsite parking for 1,000 vehicles

What is it about KC that is attractive to groups?

Kansas City is an ideal location for three main reasons: its affordability, its central location in the heart of the country and a recent $6.5 billion renaissance that has reshaped the convention experience downtown.

More than 55 million Americans can get to KC in less than a day’s drive. And flying here is even easier—as Kansas City International Airport is just a three-hour flight away from each coast. Eleven air carriers serve KCI, which offers 400 daily flights and nonstop service to 48 destinations.

What is around the convention center that groups can easily access?

After taking care of business at the convention center, your peers will find plenty to do just steps from their meeting. At the heart of it is the new Power & Light District, an eight-block entertainment hub chockfull of shops and restaurants. You can also spend an evening taking in a show at the dazzling new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Or, stroll gallery after gallery in the Crossroads Arts District for First Fridays, one of the country’s largest free art walks.

  • Downtown Entertainment & Nightlife: Power & Light District, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Sprint Center and more
  • Noteworthy Museums: National WWI Museum, College Basketball Experience, American Jazz Museum and more
  • Live Jazz: Playing regularly at 40 area clubs
  • Dining: Barbecue Capital of the World & “America’s Next Great Culinary Destination” (Saveur)
  • Acclaimed Arts: Crossroads Arts District, The Nelson-Atkins Museum and more

What are some popular group hotels in the area?

The metropolitan area offers more than 32,000 guest rooms, with nearly 2,000 hotel rooms within three blocks of the convention center. Major national hotel brands are represented, including the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza, the Hilton President Kansas City, the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crowne Center and The Westin Kansas City at Crowne Center. The newest property to debut is the Hotel Sorrella Country Club Plaza, located at the city’s famed Country Club Plaza district.

  • 32,000 hotel rooms in metro area
  • 1,500 committable rooms within two blocks of Convention Center
  • Most properties renovated within last three years

What’s next for KC?

Kansas City will unveil its new streetcar system in 2015. The two-mile north-south streetcar route will operate on city streets and connect the River Market area, near the Missouri River, to the Crown Center/Union Station area. It will also serve the Central Business District, the Crossroads Arts District and the Kansas City Power & Light District, just steps from the convention center.