Business View Magazine | May 2019

45 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 T he Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in New Orleans, Louisiana, was named after Ernest Morial, the city’s first African-American mayor who served from 1978-1986. Originally opened in 1984, as part of the Louisiana World Exposition, today, the Center is the sixth largest convention facility in America with the nation’s largest contiguous-space exhibit hall at 1.1 million square feet. The Center also offers 140 meeting rooms, a 4,000-seat theater, a 30,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, and a 60,300-sq.-ft. divisible, column-free ballroom with a 25,000-sq.-ft. pre-function area. The Morial Convention Center is managed by New Orleans Public Facility Management Inc., a not-for-profit organization operating under the direction of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana. Since its opening, the Center has been a leading contributor to the city’s robust tourist economy, producing $85.7 billion in economic impact, including $5.4 billion new tax revenue for state and local governments. It is funded by a combination of its own operational budget, and hotel occupancy and restaurant taxes. Just under 500 full- and part- time employees work for the Convention Center, which hosts an average of 140 events, annually. Over the years, the building, whose frontage is over a half-mile long, has undergone several expansions – 1984, 1991, and 1999. “Since then, there was a The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Changes coming in the Big Easy