Business View Magazine | May 2019

72 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 ntion Centre T he SeaGate Convention Centre is a convention center located in downtown Toledo, Ohio. Opened in 1987, the Centre’s exhibit hall has approximately 75,000 square feet of space and seats up to 5,100 for a banquet, 9,000 for a meeting, and 4,000 in a classroom configuration. It can be divided into three smaller halls, and, when used for concerts and stage shows, can seat 2,000, 3,000, or 5,900, depending on how many halls are utilized. The Centre also features over 17,000 square feet of additional meeting space. Originally owned in partnership by the City of Toledo, Lucas County, and the University of Toledo, today, Lucas County is the sole owner of the Convention Centre which, since 2008, has been managed by the SMG Corporation, a worldwide venue management group headquartered in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania that specializes in managing publicly-owned facilities. SMG also operates the nearby Huntington Center, an 8,000-seat, multi-purpose arena that was completed in 2009 to replace the now-demolished Toledo Sports Arena. Steve Miller, SeaGate’s General Manager says that the Centre hosts between 135-160 events a year. “We have the public shows – the RV Show, the Home Show, the Auto Show, and we do a lot of sports business - youth wrestling, youth cheerleading, youth gymnastics,” he reports. “We also do some Ohio State association business and quite a few regional corporate events. We don’t do a lot of national business; our focus is on the local and regional, and, obviously, we don’t compete with the bigger markets that have much more space than us. We compete on the state association business with Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Akron, with the type of shows that would fit in our facility. For example, the Ohio Library Association rotates around the state and we would compete with a majority of the larger cities in Ohio. On a regional basis, we compete with Akron, Dayton, Cincinnati, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Grand Rapids, Michigan, D O I N G B U S I N E S S I N T O L E D O