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Memphis Convention Center Renovations Set to Begin in Q1

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
January 6, 2018
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Memphis, Tenn. – A $175 million upgrade to the Memphis Cook Convention Center was given the green light in January and will now officially get underway in the First Quarter of 2018.

City officials filed the necessary permits for the project, which will include new meeting, function and flex space, and will be completed in late 2019, pending expected City Council approval.

"This demonstrates our commitment to be competitive in the meetings and conventions market," said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This has long been a goal of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Management Group.”

The Memphis Management Group, which runs the center, intends to update existing space and expand the building’s footprint with new meeting and function space that will open up new skyline and waterfront views for attendees. “It is so much more than an expansion and renovation,” Kane said. “This transformation of our facility will aid us in sustaining and growing the tourism and hospitality industry's economic impact.”

The Memphis Cook Convention Center currently includes 160,000 square feet of prime exhibit space, but the entire space is being configured. The upcoming renovationswill actually reduce the amount of prime exhibit space to 118,000 sf of contiguous exhibit hall space but will increase flex space and meeting space by converting part of the existing exhibit hall into a 40,000-sf ballroom, bringing the total of flexible breakout rooms to 52.

The project’s main features also include:

  • A pre-function concourse outside the main exhibit hall that overlooks the Mississippi River
  • Addition of 20 breakout rooms, raising the total number to 52
  • Reconfigured South Hall to streamline catering and other back-of-house operations
  • New glass concourse on the south side of the building
  • Redesign of the second-story loading docks to accommodate up to five trucks at a time
  • Sky bridge connecting the center to the Sheraton Memphis hotel along with a new grand entrance facing the hotel
  • Improved signage throughout the seven-level facility

Funding for the project will come from hotel room tax revenues, according to Kane, and work will be wrapped up during the Memphis bicentennial year.

Reach Kevin Kane at (901) 543-5300 or; Memphis Management Group Vice President, Pierre Landaiche, at (901) 576-1203 or


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