Bradenton Area Convention Center is not living up to expectations

September 19, 2013 

The editorial staff at the Bradenton Herald wrote on Sept. 11, 2012 that the Bradenton Area Convention Center was "poised to capture a bigger piece of the event pie." The editorial also heralded that the convention center was "another success story in the aggressive drive to boost the local economy."

Has anyone from the Bradenton Herald done an investigative follow-up report in the past year? Is there any oversight or accountability for the operation of the center? Can anyone name one nationally renowned artist that has been booked at the convention center in the past five years?

The managers at the center have been complacent with the usual reoccurring bookings of the garden show, gun show, holiday bazaar, and home show. Little effort is required to renew these events, and attendance figures are dwindling.

When you daily drive past the convention center, the parking lot is typically empty, except for the administrative and staff vehicles. If you review the October, November and December calendar of upcoming events at the center, the center is only booked for 11 days out of 90!

Administrative and staff salaries at the convention center cost the taxpayers approximately $500,000 each year and the center was recently renovated at a cost of $6.5 million. So I ask, where are the fruits of thy labor from the aggressive drive to boost the local economy?

Heck, I had to drive to Fort Myers to see Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. How does that help our local economy?

It seems the administration at the center is more concerned at protecting their cushy government salaries and benefits and maintaining the status quo.

Jim Jefferson


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