Tour Cleveland's new convention center at event featuring pro athletes, giveaways

Convention Center opens to public Saturday

CLEVELAND - After more than two years of construction, the new Cleveland Convention Center will open to the public this weekend.

"Celebrate the Center: Community Open House and Celebration" is set for Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Lakeside Avenue and it's all free.

"We did it!  We built this new convention center.  It's coming in under budget, ahead of schedule. We'd really like all of northeast Ohio to come downtown and see what we collectively did," said Dave Johnson, a spokesman for the project.

The community will get a chance to explore the $465 million dollar facility. There will also be plenty of entertainment including live music from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. 

The 2013 National Senior Summer Games, the US Coast Guard, Positively Cleveland and the City of Cleveland will have informational displays set up in the center's 230,000 square foot exhibit hall. 

The city's professional sports teams will also take part.

"The Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers will all have large displays, interactive games, all the mascots will be here. It really is the quintessential Cleveland celebration," Johnson said  Former pro players will be signing autographs as well.

If you're one of the first 1,000 people to show up, you'll go home with a special gift. The first 1,000 attendees ages 16 and over will get a commemorative lunch tote bag. The first 1,000 children will receive a Convention Center plastic telescope.

The Cleveland Convention Center will host its first event, the 2013 National Senior Summer Games, beginning July 19.

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