On Tuesday, the Maryland Stadium Authority officially named a team, consisting of several design firms, to investigate a new downtown hotel and arena, along with expansion of the 1962 Baltimore Convention Center.
The study team, which includes LMN Architects of Seattle; Ayers Saint Gross, Baltimore-based design firm; Clark Construction of Bethesda; Perkins Eastman, a design firm based out of New York; and Populous, a Kansas City-based firm that was responsible for designing the Oriole Park at Camden Yards, will evaluate which arrangement of elements is reasonable – an expansion of the convention enter, a new venue and hotel to replace the Royals Farms Arena – and how they may fit together.The team will need to work together to complete the study by the end of the year and the funding should not exceed $460,000, which is being provided by private and public sources.
Visit Baltimore, an organization responsible for overseeing the Baltimore Convention Center, has recommended an update of the convention center for years, saying a bigger facility is needed to be competitive with other cities.
In 2013, Otakon decided to relocate their mushrooming anime convention to Washington, D.C. after 2016, where it would have access to a larger convention center. The move heightened awareness of the issue. The convention center expansion integrated with a new hotel and arena would be a more ambitious proposal.