The Raleigh Convention Center is expanding. Newly revealed plans — which still need to be approved and funded — include relocating Red Hat Amphitheater to make way for a two-square-block complex for meetings, events, and entertainment.
“An expansion of this magnitude takes years to plan and execute, so we need to be thinking about this now,“ said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a press release.
The project is expected to cost ~$425 million and will more than double the convention center’s current capacity by creating room for 20,000 more people. The expansion will add 500,000 sqft of meeting space, including ~30 additional breakout rooms. A 50,000 sqft or 30,000 sqft “flex hall” will be added across the street from the RCC to host large events and breakout groups.
According to proposed maps, Red Hat Amphitheater will be slightly moved and reoriented toward South Dawson Street and maintain roughly the same capacity. It will be incorporated into RCC’s new outdoor entertainment space.
The proposed project was designed by LMN Architects, a Seattle-based firm that helped with similar projects in Vancouver, Cleveland, Seattle, Columbus, and New Orleans.
Money for the project will come from local hospitality taxes collected by the Interlocal Fund. The Wake County Board of Commissioners and City Council will vote to allocate the funds on June 20.