Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 15:21.

The City of Cleveland has extended the lease for the I-X (Convention) Center until, with options, until 2039.

Does this mean there won't be a new convention center and medical mart? Naw. 

Council passed legislation recently at the behest of the Jackson administration. 

Everyone knows by now that Cuyahoga County and Sam Miller have eyes for a new convention center. Indeed, the County Commissioners already have voted an extra quarter percent sales tax upon us to pay for it. 
So you have to wonder why the City of Cleveland just extended the lease for the I-X Center – not due until 2014 – until January 2019 and gave options to Ray Park Corp. for four additional consecutive five-year periods, which would put the IX center under his control until 2039. 

The city, under Mayor Michael White, originally bought the I-X Center for $60 million in 1999. It paid $30-million paid then and the rest to be paid down by $2 million a year, considered rent. The contract with Park would have ended in 2014. 

The new contract doesn’t call for a penny more in annual rent, despite the addition of years on the lease. The rent remains $2 million a year to the city of Cleveland. 

Airport Director Ricky Smith describes the deal as advantageous to both Park and the city. 

Park wanted to insure it could schedule events five to seven years out and the city wants the $2 million income after the $30 million debt is paid off. The city looks forward to the $2 million in rent after the debt has been paid off with living cost adjustments starting in 2019.  

But doesn’t this mean that events that might go into a brand new convention center could be taken by the I-X Center?

Oh, hell, we already know that a new convention center will bleed red ink aplenty. Why worry about that. 

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I find it preposterous that the reason stated for not using the I-X Center as THE convention center is that "it has no meeting rooms". Jesus! Isn't there an architect in town or elsewhere who could put meeting rooms in that cavern? I would imagine you could build a village inside that thing. And we ought to - it has more than enough room for medical equipment and truck pulls! "and would you like a ferris wheel with that MRI?"

Ah... we're enamored with a field of dreams...

The most exciting convention center in the world currently isn’t anywhere near the center of a city. It's in Milan! Images and more here at design build: Fiera di Milano Exhibition Centre, Milan, Italy. The best is the green design for the massive parking lagoon.


I have said before and will restate that I believe it is preposterous to build a big box anywhere in downtown with whatever money (invariably ours) so that it can be decommissioned when it fails (also on our tab) in DOWNTOWN! Use the freakin' I-X Center retooled.