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Regional News

Syracuse's convention center could be getting an upgrade this year

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Visit Syracuse
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Syracuse’s convention center turns 30 years old this year, and could be getting a makeover. In his state of the County speech this week, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon proposed a $5 million upgrade to the convention center that opened in 1992.

McMahon said the most important component would be adding meeting rooms.

“Our biggest competitors Rochester and Buffalo have more meeting rooms, he said. “And more meeting rooms mean more business, plain and simple. Our plan is to expand meeting rooms at the OnCenter by 50 percent."

Danny Liedke, President and CEO of Visit Syracuse, said these new rooms would give his staff more flexibility than it currently has, when it tries to book conventions and meetings in downtown Syracuse.

"We do lose our fair share of business because we don’t have extra rooms where they can break out into small groups,” he said. “Right now it’s kind of all or nothing. So this will help big time."

These new rooms would be built out in an area that is currently a high ceiling that stretches towards some skylights.

Liedke said there will also be upgrades to lighting and flooring, as well as technology, and could come on the heels of a school board convention coming to Syracuse in the fall. McMahon included this project as part of a five-point plan to boost the tourism industry in central New York, which is still struggling post-pandemic.