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Indiana Convention Center a Big Step Forward for City

Despite the unfortunate weather conditions this morning, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the $275 million expansion project on the Indiana Convention Center went ahead as scheduled.

Speakers included Governor Mitch Daniels, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and visitors association chairman Michael Browning. Officials anticipate the project will generate $1.3 billion in economic impact through tourism and increased city recognition. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said the convention center will be a great addition to the city.

"Its terrific," said Ballard. "The convention center puts us in whats called the first tier of convention cities across the nation."

The project has also created several thousand jobs in the service and construction industries. Deputy Director for the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority Lori Dunlap said the center has, and will continue, to create new jobs.

"We did a study in 2005 that indicated that when we were done with this project there would be about 4,200 new jobs created in Indianapolis. Those would be in the service industry, the hotels, the restaurants and event planning around the area. We anticipate about 4,500 construction jobs were created during this project," said Dunlap.

City officials are convinced the project will see a strong return on its investment and hope it will make Indianapolis an even greater place to live and visit.

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