ALBANY, NY— SMG proudly announces the opening of the state-of-the-art Albany Capital Center in downtown Albany. A ribbon cutting ceremony led by New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and the Albany Convention Center Authority, a NYS public authority, was held on March 1 for esteemed guests to tour the new, modern meeting and convention facility. The $78.5 million dollar convention center, located at 55 Eagle Street and just steps from the Capitol, was completed on time and on budget employing 140 workers on average from 11 trades and will provide 120 permanent jobs to run and maintain the building.
“This new convention center is key to the continued economic development of this area and will play a pivotal role in drawing events and visitors from around the country,” said Governor Cuomo. “This modern, convention facility will help ensure that the Capital Region remains competitive for years to come, while also having a significant, positive impact on the community.”
As manager of the ACC, SMG has booked 62 events for 2017 that will span 101 days of activities. This year’s events will spur 3,750 hotel room nights, of which more than 3,200 are new business for Albany. An additional 28 events have already been booked through 2021. On top of the $26.5 million in annual visitor spending, approximately $1 million more in sales, use, fuel, auto rental, personal income, and occupancy taxes will be associated with new visitor spending.
“After years in the making, the entire Albany Convention Center Authority team applauds Governor Cuomo for having the foresight to build this economic generator,” said Gavin Donohue, chairman, Albany Convention Center Authority. “This project took much collaboration with local and state government, a strict construction timeline and a commitment by all parties to deliver the project on time. The ACC is a testament to what this area can achieve, and we look forward to seeing its schedule fill up in the coming weeks and months ahead as well as opening the door in the Capital Region to new shows and events.”
With nearly 160,000 square-feet of combined meeting and event space, the Capital Complex, will be the largest meeting space in upstate New York. The Complex is comprised of the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, operated by the New York State Office of General Services; The Egg, and the new, Albany Capital Center and the Times Union Center, both operated by SMG.
The Albany Capital Center features:
1. Full service contemporary convention and meeting spaces on two levels with Wi-Fi, 4K audio visual system, fully carpeted, clear span column-free rooms, and ample pre-function areas throughout;
2. On-site parking for 130 cars on three levels directly below two levels of convention and meeting spaces;
3. Enclosed, climate-controlled walkways with direct access to the Capital Complex;
4. Energy Star equipment, LED lighting, and energy efficient design throughout will result in savings of nearly $73,000 in gas and electric costs and result in CO2 reductions of more than 670,000 pounds annually
5. 10,000 sq. ft. of fully divisible meeting spaces and a 3000 sq. ft. full service catering kitchen on the first level;
6. 22,500 sq. ft. of multi-purpose ballroom/convention space that can be configured to create separate 15,000 sq. ft. and 10,000 sq. ft. areas on the second level;
7. 26’ high ceilings to accommodate NCAA basketball practice courts in support of tournaments at the Times Union Center, heavy duty flooring to support automobile & trade displays, high end finishes and unique color changing LED display lighting on the ceiling that can display logos, patterns and shapes in motion or stationary position from a color palette of 16 million choices on the second level;
8. Passenger & freight elevators and escalators access all levels;
9. Banquet seating capacity for 1,600;
10. Graduation seating capacity for 3,200;
11. Smart wireless technology networks which can support multimedia events and provide wireless access strong enough to service 5,000 guests;
12. Plasma screens, charging stations; and
13. Event booking and management of the facility will be handled by SMG and catering will be provided by Mazzone Hospitality.
The March 1, 2017 grand opening of the ACC arrived just in time to welcome the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) basketball tournament. Following the MAAC, the ACC will host its first official convention, the New York State Council for Social Studies, a four-day educational conference beginning March 22, which will bring 450 attendees to Albany. The momentum continues with the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner, a black-tie affair, which will attract 1,200 area business and community leaders; the American Red Cross’ Annual Fire & Ice Gala on April 1, expected to draw 800 people to the themed ballroom; and the convention center’s first sporting event, the 2017 Scholarship Dance Competition which will bring in 600 guests. Continuing to showcase its versatility, the ACC will play host to its first wedding this summer and will switch gear again for the 5,000 attendees that will descend on the area for the 2017 Christmas & Craft Show.
“Based on the feedback we’ve gotten so far, we already know that when we open our doors, Albany area residents and visitors alike are going to be impressed, and are going to want to spend time here,” said Doug McClaine, general manager of the ACC. “We have a lot to look forward to, as we continue to grow and expand our talented team, building what will be the premier events venue in the Capital Region.”
Since 1797, Albany has been the state capital of New York, and even long before that, played an integral role in American history. Murals, celebrating Albany’s rich past and created by artist Dahl Taylor, are a permanent fixture at the convention center which will enable guests to explore and interact with history, via a website and mobile phone app.
(From left to right): Former Albany County Executive Michael Breslin, NYS Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, former Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany Convention Center Authority Chairman Gavin Donahue, NYS Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, NYS Assemblyman John McDonald, NYS Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito, NYS Senator Neil Breslin, and NYS Senator George Amedore. Photo courtesy: Baker Public Relations. More photos available upon request.