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The Baltimore Convention Center is located on 1 West Pratt Street near the Inner Harbor. It is a huge convention center that contains a total of 1,200,000 ft² (110,000 m²), including 300,000 ft² (28,000 m²) for exhibit space. The current convention center is made of two connected sections. The original section opened in 1979 with much fanfare and media coverage, has 60,000 ft² (6,000 m²) of glass, constituting the largest suspended glass system in the world. Space was doubled in 1996 upon completion of a $151,000,000 addition to the Baltimore Convention Center. According to the Baltimore Development Corporation's website, the expansion and renovation occurred in 1997 not 1996. Below is a listing of the Baltimore Convention Center that came from the Baltimore Development Corporation's website.
- Baltimore Conv. Center ('97)
In 2003, it was announced in the Baltimore Sun newspaper that the Baltimore Development Corporation is reviewing three convention center hotel proposals. See Baltimore_Convention_Center_Hotel_Project for more details regarding the convention center hotel.
The Baltimore Convention Center has hosted many conventions since its opening in 1979 and its expansion and renovation in 1996, it is operated and managed by the Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association, a semi-private association started in 1980 by former Baltimore mayor William Donald Schaffer.
One convention that has been reported to have a major economic impact in the Baltimore Business Journal in 2002 and 2003 for the City of Baltimore was Otakon, a convention that deals with Anime and other facets of East Asian culture. The convention has resided in the Baltimore Convention Center from the Summer of 1999 to this past summer. The convention used the entire Baltimore Convention Center for its tenth meeting, drawing an estimated 17,338 people with two well known musical guests, Kristine Sa and Takanori Nishikawa (a.k.a: T.M.R.). 2003 also marked the last year of a popular event, MAT3K (Mystery Anime Theater 3000.) The popular events of the 2003 Otakon convention were its Anime Music Video contest (with many contestants using popular music and anime such as FLCL and Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne, available at , its rave, and the cosplay contest. Otakorp, the nonprofit organization that runs Otakon, has plans to hold its 2004 convention in the Baltimore Convention Center from July 30th through August 1st, 2004.