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Proposed River Center Steering Committee will determine new direction for the event center

4 days 22 hours 34 minutes ago Tuesday, June 11 2024 Jun 11, 2024 June 11, 2024 5:59 AM June 11, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The Downtown Development District will meet Tuesday morning to discuss of slew of issues, one of which being the proposed committee who will paint a new direction for the River Center. 

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome posted ideas at brla.gov/rivercenterproposal and noted that Baton Rouge is far behind its peers in establishing a campus that can hold regional conventions. While Baton Rouge does have hotels that can host conventions, it is one of the largest cities in the country that lacks a true convention center hotel, the mayor said.

She suggests an aggressive timeline to solicit proposals, review them and select developers. She envisions approving contracts within nine months.

The Metro Council this year, at Broome's request, voted to support a plan to build a major arena near the LSU campus through a $300 million-plus public-private partnership. As the LSU site develops, the River Center would be be repurposed into a major convention space. The arena, formerly known as the Centroplex, is nearly 50-years-old and shows its age.

"Like LSU's project, River Center can utilize similar public-private partnership (PPP) investment model to most efficiently leverage public assets," Broome's presentation says. "Otherwise, there is no clear path for public investment required to revitalize Complex."

This story will be updated with any new information discussed in the Tuesday Downtown Development District meeting. 

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