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Convention Center revenues nearing pre-pandemic level

Mar. 16—The Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter are on track to meet or exceed revenue goals for the year, the center’s general manager told Owensboro city commissioners Tuesday night.

The message from general manager Jamie Scheffer was that convention center and Sportscenter operations are returning largely to normal after events were disrupted and canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year, we were decimated by the pandemic,” Scheffer said. This year, however, “we are seeing record-breaking rebound, with financials and events coming back. It’s almost a return back to pre-pandemic levels.”

For the year, convention center revenues are about $235,000 above projections, while revenue at the Sportscenter is $41,175 above projections, Scheffer said.

“Right now, we are forecasting at both buildings to beat budget by $443,000,” he said.

Scheffer said the facilities are projected to host 278 events this year, with attendance exceeding 150,000 visitors. For the fiscal

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Convention center expecting big year in 2022

Dec. 12—The Owensboro Convention Center and the Sportscenter were both on track in 2020 to have their most successful years since the convention center opened in 2014.

And then the coronavirus pandemic reached Owensboro, and both venues had to close on March 8.

And it was months before either was back to anything approaching normal.

At the end of May 2021, Laura Alexander, general manager of both facilities, said, “We’re turning the corner. The summer is looking very good.”

In July, conventions finally returned to the convention center after a long 15 months of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kentucky Water & Wastewater Operators Association was the first to return.

“We are expecting a larger turnout for conventions in 2022,” Alexander said. “Fourteen conventions that represent over 8,600 hotel room nights have already committed to 2022, and we still have more that are in the works.

“We only

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