The Public Interest

Convention center follies

Heywood T. Sanders

Summer 1998

FROM San Francisco to Boston, from Chicago to New Orleans, our nation’s major cities have sustained a boom in the development of convention centers over the last two decades which is nothing less than remarkable. Amidst the continuing debate over the scale and role of the public sector, this one governmental activity has continued to expand. Though cities like Baltimore, Atlanta, and St. Louis are marked by population loss and economic decline, these same cities and tens of others have devoted millions in public resources to attract convention goers and their dollars.

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