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Adelaide Convention Centre’s $397 million redevelopment

Australia’s oldest convention centre has been reborn as the nation’s newest, with the completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s two-phase $397 million redevelopment. The second and final stage of the redevelopment, the new East Building will be officially opened later today (30 August) by the South Australian Premier, the Hon. Jay Weatherill, MP. 

The Adelaide Convention Centre expansion has transformed Adelaide’s skyline with two new buildings and boosted the Centre’s footprint to 20,000sqm of multi-purpose space. Its completion comes as the Centre celebrates its 30th year in business.

“Since opening in 1987, the Convention Centre has been a great South Australian success story,” comments Alec Gilbert, Chief Executive, Adelaide Convention Centre. “Over the past 30 years, the Centre has played host to 1,800 major conferences, welcomed more than six million delegates and visitors, and generated $1.4 million in economic benefit for the state of South Australia. The future looks even brighter, with the expanded venue forecast to inject an additional $1.92 billion into the state’s economy over the next 25 years.” 

The completion of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s expansion positions the centre as not only Australia’s newest convention centre, but also its most flexible and technologically advanced. Without question, the centrepiece of the East Building’s innovation and flexibility is its new state-of-the-art Plenary Hall, which has tiered seating for 3,500 or offers 3,000sqm of flat floor space for exhibitions or banquets. Illustrating the Hall’s extreme flexibility, it is capable of being sub-divided into more than 15 different configurations. Defining features include: 

  • Tiered, hinged seating, which is used to create a theatre-style auditorium, but when lifted, reveals a flat floor space to accommodate exhibitions or banquets;
  • Operable walls, which can be put in place to subdivide the space, whether in Plenary or flat floor configuration, or retracted to open up the Plenary to full capacity; and,
  • The world’s largest rotating seating drums – two revolving auditoriums capable of seating 320 people each. Set at the back of the Hall, the rotating drums can be used as part of the Plenary or rotated 180 degree in minutes to form two individual theatrettes. 

“Our newly expanded facility represents a new breed of convention centre in terms of its innovation and flexibility,” adds Gilbert. “The East Building brings together rotating drums, hinged seating and operable walls in one building for the first time, making it one of the most flexible convention centres in the world, and providing exciting and creative opportunities for event organisers.”

Another special feature of the Plenary includes a spectacular “Starry Night” aerial backdrop. More than 35,000 fibre optic lights are fitted on the underside of the hinged seating, which when lifted, appears as a glittering ‘starry night’.

Additional highlights of the newly expanded Centre include a striking Skyway (elevated walkway) which seamlessly connects the Centre’s three buildings, and Home Ground café court, which is set to launch in November. Home Ground will provide an exciting new dining destination on the Riverbank and an ideal setting for after conference hours networking.

Early response towards the newly expanded Centre has been extremely positive, with 95 conferences already secured for the new venue through until 2020. Collectively, these events will bring more than 71,000 delegates to Adelaide, delivering more than $200 million in economic benefit to South Australia. The first major event to be held in the newly expanded Centre is the International Astronautical Congress, scheduled 25 – 29 September. 

Further information available at

Taken from Adelaide Convention Centre Press Release 30 August 2017

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