A Brief History of America’s Center
Here’s a timeline of milestone events from the history of the America’s Center convention complex.
First convention held in facility – NAACP.
Grand Opening Ceremony for center was held. Final construction cost: $34 million.
City of St. Louis officials began considering the facility.
City approved Center Director Bruce T. Sommer’s formal request for a feasibility study to be conducted to determine the site and amount of growth necessary for St. Louis to remain a competitive convention destination.
Formal expansion study was submitted to the City by Laventhol & Horwath, Certified Public Accountants.
St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl announced plans for expansion and appointed a committee of hospitality industry and civic leaders to research funding sources for the project.
Mayor Schoemehl announced plans to pursue the construction of a domed expansion to the convention center which includes exhibition and meeting space and more than 60,000 fixed seats.
St. Louis Aldermen approved a bill which allowed for the refinancing of a 1978 convention center bond issue which would generate $12 million for renovation of the existing facility and land acquisition for the south expansion.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved bills that placed proposals on the November 3, 1987 ballot for city voters to adopt a one-half cent percent increase in the restaurant sales tax and a hotel license fee of $2 per occupied room to finance the expansion of the convention center.
City of St. Louis voters approved the two tax propositions to pay for the first expansion to the Convention Center.
Expansion financing was set when $80 million in bonds were sold on the first day of issue.
Missouri State Senate approved a bill allowing the State of Missouri to enter into a contract to participate in financing the construction of the eastward expansion (The Dome) to St. Louis’ Convention Center.
Demolition work begins on the expansion site for the south expansion.
Missouri Governor John Ashcroft signed the bill that authorized State financing of the eastward expansion (The Dome).
St. Louis County Council voted to place on the ballot an increase in the county tax on hotel rooms to finance a portion of the Convention Center eastward expansion (The Dome).
County voters approved the hotel tax thereby guaranteeing the funding for the eastward expansion (The Dome).
Foundation construction begins on the south expansion.
Topping Out ceremony held for the south expansion.
Ground breaking ceremony held for the eastward expansion (The Dome).
Construction completed on new 100,000 square feet of exhibit space in the south expansion. St. Louis Boat and Sport Show is the first event to use the new exhibit space combined with the existing halls for a total exhibition area of 340,000 square feet.
The remaining public areas of the southward expansion are complete.
Official dedication and grand opening celebration are held for the south expansion. Building rededicated as “America’s Center.”
Construction continues on the eastward expansion (The Dome).
Rams announce plans to move to St. Louis and play in The Dome.
The Dome becomes the Trans World Dome at America’s Center, a name that will last until May 2001 when TWA was acquired by American Airlines and the TWA name was dropped from the facility.
Rams play inaugural game in The Dome at America’s Center.
Primerica Financial Services convention, 40,000 delegates strong, became the first convention group to utilize the entire America’s Center complex including The Dome at America’s Center.
On January 27, 1999, more than 104,000 people filled the America’s Center complex to participate in the Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II. historic event was reported to be the largest indoor gathering ever held in the United States.
The St. Louis Rams NFL team won two NFC playoff games inside The Dome at America’s Center. The wins propelled the team to St. Louis’ first-ever football world championship by wining Super Bowl XXXIV.
The St. Louis Rams NFL team won two NFL playoff games on “home” turf at the Dome to become the champions of the NFC. The facility’s named changed to the Edward Jones Dome.
The facility’s name changed to The Dome at America’s Center.
Updated: February 19, 2016
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