Expo Center Would Inject $33M into Economy


City of Denton flag | Image by Dromara/Shutterstock

A proposed expo center could help drive economic growth in Denton County.

A feasibility study was presented to the Denton County Commissioners Court (DCCC) on Tuesday concerning the proposed construction of a multipurpose exposition center in the city of Denton.

The proposed expo center would be built on 232 acres of land adjacent to a 100-acre parcel owned by the North Texas State Fair Association (NTSFA), according to Bill Krueger of Conventions, Sports & Leisure (CSL) International, the firm tasked with completing the feasibility study.

“The fact that you’ve already got 232 acres assembled in one contiguous location is a fantastic opportunity, assuming there’s sufficient demand, and that’s part of what we’re looking for when we’re doing our research and our interviews with different stakeholders,” Krueger said, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle (DRC).

Despite not identifying an exact location for the proposed expo center during the January 24 presentation, North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Executive Director Glenn Carlton was able to confirm that the plot of land was owned by Denton County on the north side of Milam Road. He also confirmed that the land on the south side of Milam Road was owned by NTSFA.

If the expo center moves forward, Krueger said its construction could be split into multiple phases.

He explained that the first phase of construction would focus on a multipurpose facility, while the second and third phases would add an equestrian/athletic field and a coliseum, according to reporting by the DRC.

A first-phase draft proposal shows that the proposed 55,500-square-foot multipurpose facility would cost between $34 million and $41 million. According to Krueger, CSL forecasts an annual economic impact of $33.4 million, slightly less than the projected cost of construction.

Once the expo’s first phase is complete, CSL estimates that the multipurpose facility could attract 244,900 attendees to more than 174 annual events. Krueger said the facility would create job opportunities for 419 employees.

Krueger further explained that as additional phases of the event facility get built, the multipurpose building would become a great candidate for a dedicated exhibition facility.

Despite claims that the expo will drive growth in Denton County, the DRC reports that the first phase facility would cost the county an estimated net of $240,000. Estimates show an expected operating revenue of $1.29 million, $240,000 less than expected operating expenses.

The Dallas Express reached out to the Commissioners Court for clarification on the balance sheet estimates but had not received a response by the time of publication.

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