CLEVELAND -- A ribbon-cutting ceremonythis afternoon will declare that Cleveland is back in the convention game.
After years of being sidelined because of the lack of a competitive facility, the new Convention Center will be open for business. It's companion Global Center for Health Innovation will open October 9th.
Crews were scrambling, cleaning, shining and making sure fits and finishes were just right. Other hardhats were installing electronic signs.
Engineers and architects from firms that were on the design team eyeballed the project and gave it good reviews.
Derek Beaman of the structural engineering firm Magnusson Klemencic Associates said, "This facility looks fantastic. The best testament is it looks exactly like the drawings. This is every bit as good as anything competing against it in the United States."
Howard Howlett of LMN Architects said, "It takes more than any one firm or group of people to make it come together...Everyone is excited about it."
Some entertainers who are part of a weekend of celebration were rehearsing.
The Dancing Wheels' Mary Verdi-Fletcher said it's a proud moment for her group and the city.
"It's really an iconic space for our community. Being it's part of health and wellness it's a perfect fit...It's truly a space we're going to be proud of.
About 400 guests are expected . RSVPs were still coming in just before a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline.
Among the visitors to the show and tell weekend, some hospitality thought leaders whose opinions of the place count.
MMPT Spokesman Dave Johnson said, "We have the ten largest convention publications coming in. The convention industry is abuzz."
The projected created 3300 hardhat jobs. There will be about a thousand staff jobs between the center and its partner facility, The Global Center for Health Innovation.
At about 2:40 Friday, 22 VIP civic, business and political leaders will wield supersize scissors to cut the ribbon, putting Cleveland back in the convention trade.
The first event is the Senior Games starting July 19th.