Cleveland Convention Center ribbon cutting on Friday, opens with National Senior Games in July

CLEVELAND - Not only is the Cleveland Convention Center brand new, it's spacious and it's bright, and experts say that makes it welcoming.

"I think one of the other things you can see is how light this facility is with great neutral colors. Eleven-thousand gallons of Sherwin Williams paint, hometown paint used for this facility," said Clevelander Tony Prusak, Senior Director of Sales for the Cleveland Convention Center. 

Beyond the convention center floor and meeting rooms for 2,000 people at once, convention goers can have dinner in the Grand Ballroom with a view of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other downtown Cleveland landmarks.

The place opens July 19 with the National Senior Games that will draw 35,000 participants to Cleveland.

Another 64 events are already booked for the rest of this year.

The convention floor is as big as five football fields and the entire complex is as big as 17 football fields.

Upcoming events include the Pet Expo, Great Lakes Truck Expo and just around the bend in 2014, the National Model Railroad Association with thousands of train enthusiasts from all over the world.

Some groups have already booked through 2019.

The Cleveland Convention Center is expected to be a big draw for business and convention travelers, which may give United Airlines another reason to keep a hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2 o'clock Friday afternoon.

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