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The Austin Convention Center in Historic Downtown Austin

The Austin Convention Center in Historic Downtown Austin

The Austin Convention Center is a huge, sprawling convention complex in the heart of downtown Austin, and the facility can host just about any gathering, from sports events to conventions, garden shows, car shows, sales of every imaginable kind, and political gatherings, among others. The Center is located between Cesar Chavez to the South, 4th Street to the north, and Red River on one side and Trinity on the other. It covers numerous city blocks, and is practically a city inside a city.

The Convention Center contains more than 800,000 square feet, numerous ballrooms, including the largest ballroom in Texas, and very high tech, state of the art communication and media networks, facilities and devices. There are over 54 separate meeting rooms and a ballroom that will accommodate 3000 diners at once, so the largest conventions can be easily hosted at the center, with all the modern accompanying technological paraphernalia.

Trade Shows and Expos are two of the most popular events held at the center, but many sporting events such as the Austin Ice Bats and local basketball skirmishes take place there as well, along with practice and training sessions. The Roller Derby team, the Lonestar Rollergirls, is a huge crowd favorite, and two of the most popular yearly events are the Carnival Rio de Brasileiro Celebration at Mardi Gras and various rodeo-related activities at roughly the same time of year. Many of these events have related events at the Palmer Event Center as well, which is just across the river.

The Gubernatorial Inauguration a few years ago was one of the most heavily attended and publicized events held at ACC, and many local as well as national celebrities and politicians appeared at the event, which was catered by the Aramark company as well as other local temp and catering agencies, who supplied over 50 TABC certified bartenders and wait staff galore. Many a local food service industry professional have gotten their start at the Convention Center, although all personnel is carefully screened and qualified before being admitted and allowed to cater the event or serve the patrons.

The facility is constructed primarily of limestone and granite, and has a historical feel yet quite a bit of natural light due to the plethora of windows. There are numerous levels and mobile bars and food stands throughout the complex, all of which can be tailored to the client’s preferences. Another popular yearly event is the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, an Austin tradition during which just about anything Christmas or gift-related can be found, especially arts, crafts, home furnishings and decorations, jewelry, and the like.

Many of the halls have retractable seating, so the size of the crowd can be accommodated no matter how large or intimate, and the over six blocks that encompass the Convention Center property makes walking from one end to the other quite a hike, but the many elevators, golf carts, and other types of assistance can be of benefit to the infirm or just plain tired guests.

Many of the conventions are education related, such as school districts, teachers, and college gatherings, and many are high-tech related, such as the World Conference on Internet Technology convention, which featured Bill Clinton as a guest a few years ago, to the delight of the patrons and visitors. There is also a yearly boat expo, which is another very popular event.

Some of the events on tap for October of this year include the Austin Board of Realtors Convention, a high school student career expo Skillpoint Alliance, and the World of Warcraft World Championships by Upper Deck Entertainment. There is also a Forum for Black Public Administrators, and shortly thereafter, holiday events will begin, many of which are balls, dinners, and dances.

The Convention Center is in the heart of historic downtown and also very accessible to I.H. 35 , which is a block east of the facility, and there are also residential areas close by and numerous hotels including the Hilton Garden Inn, the Downtown Hilton, the Marriott, the Hampton Inn, and many others.

The center is also very close to Lady Bird Lake and its numerous hike and bike trails, so convention attendees can get some recreation and fresh air while in the area. This facility is one of the most impressive in Austin, and has hosted many nationally known gatherings, and it is a sure stop on a trip to downtown Austin, so visit the Convention Center, and get a good look at Austin’s largest high-tech meeting facilities!