LAS VEGAS -- The Sands Expo and Convention Center, which recently
announced that the world's largest sporting goods show had agreed
to a three-year commitment starting in 2001, is on a roll for
signing up trade shows.
"This is tremendous for Las Vegas. It's very quickly becoming
not only the trade show capital of this country, but also the trade
show capital of the world," said Mike Mays, director of
communications for the North Palm Beach, Fla.-based Sporting Goods
Manufacturers Association, which puts on The Super Show.
The sporting goods show generally brings in about 90,000
delegates for its annual meetings in Atlanta, where it has met
since its founding in 1986, according to Mays. Estimates are that
the group's annual convention generates $121 million in nongaming
The Sands also signed up six other leading trade shows,
including Western Shoe Associates, the Jewelers Circular-Keystone
Show and the Men's Apparel Guild in California (Magic). The
combined shows will bring 311,000 people to Las Vegas, with an
economic impact of $403 million.
"There are other new shows with contracts floating out there,"
said William Weidner, president and chief executive officer of the
Sands, who added that he expected to make more announcements in the
The cost of booking the privately held Sands is higher than the
cost of using government-owned facilities, he acknowledged. "While
it is true that show managers pay a higher price for space in a
for-profit, tax-paying convention center, Las Vegas' compelling
combination of the most trade show space of any city, the lowest
air fare and destination cost in the country, and the popularity of
Las Vegas to boost show attendance makes it a trade show mecca," he
His comments were backed by a Price Waterhouse Coopers study
earlier this year. The study concluded that Las Vegas had the most
hotel rooms, lowest air service cost, lowest destination cost and
the most exhibition space of any city in the U.S.
Mays said bringing the sporting goods show to Vegas should boost
its attendance, possibly to more than 100,000 delegates. Several
reasons were cited as to why the sporting goods group decided to
move its meetings here, beginning in 2001 and continuing through
"For the first time, this venue will allow our West Coast and
Pacific Rim attendees easier access to The Super Show," said John
Riddle, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
The area's reputation for entertainment and dining were given as
With 25 individual sporting goods shows taking place
simultaneously, The Super Show and its 3,000 exhibitors will use
all 1.7 million square feet of exhibition and meeting space at the
Sands Expo and the adjacent Venetian Congress Center. Other areas
around Las Vegas will also be used for breakout shows.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has contended
that trade shows would seek out other cities because of a lawsuit
now blocking a 1.3 million-square-foot expansion of the Las Vegas
The company that owns the Sands also owns The Venetian, which
filed the suit, objecting to the authority's plan to use general
obligation funds for a $150 million expansion. The suit will come
to trial in early October.
The 1.2 million-square-foot Sands Expo and Convention Center is
the largest privately owned and operated convention center in the
The Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Expo Center and the
Venetian Congress Hall combined have about 3 million square feet of
exhibit space, more than any city in the country.
The Sands Expo and Convention Center
Phone: (702) 733-5556