This Just In

McCormick Expansion to Open Early


Chicago – Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) has announced that the expansion underway at McCormick Place will finish ahead of schedule. The new West Building is now expected to open July 2007, eight months early. The project broke ground in Spring 2004.

This is good news for a site that has already signed 40 events, ranging in size from 5,000 to 25,000 attendees. “This early opening will allow McCormick Place to book meetings and events that could not otherwise have been accommodated,” says Leticia Peralta Davis, MPEA’s CEO, noting that the venue is already in negotiations with several potential customers.

Groups that have signed include a number of medical associations, such as the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Microbiology. Others include The Society of the Plastics Industry, RCG Productions and Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.

These meetings will take advantage of the West Building’s high percentage of meeting space. The new facility will feature 470,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and 250,000 square feet of meeting space, resulting in a ratio of exhibit to meeting space of 1.88 to 1. According to Trade Show Executive magazine’s directory of the World’s Top Convention Centers, the national average is 3.6 to 1 but the largest ten centers are more heavily weighted with exhibit space, and have a ratio of 5.4 to 1.

The West Building will also feature 61 breakout rooms and a 100,000 square foot ballroom that can accommodate 15 different configurations. MPEA says  it is the nation’s largest.

Reach Leticia Peralta Davis at (312) 791-7500 or

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