Originally created 07/12/97

Atlanta's largest convention may move elsewhere

ATLANTA (AP) - The Super Show, a sporting goods trade show that attracts more than 100,000 people and pumps $80 million into Atlanta's economy each February, will decide in the next few months whether to move to a new city by 2000, either temporarily or permanently.

"We are actively looking at other locations," said John D. Riddle, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, which puts on the Super Show. "We have to. We need more space."

An expansion of the Georgia World Congress Center, where the exhibition is located, was not approved during the 1997 General Assembly. The Congress Center authority will return to the Legislature next year, but by then, Riddle said, his group already will have made a decision.

Even if the fourth phase of expansion is approved, construction will prevent the Super Show from using a parking lot for overflow pavilions.

"It is a dilemma for them, and that makes it a dilemma for us," said Dan A. Graveline, the Congress Center's executive director. "They are working with us. They are not doing anything behind the scenes."

Graveline is proposing other locations nearby where the Super Show could house its pavilions during construction of the expansion.

Riddle is considering that option, but the manufacturers group also is looking at Orlando, New Orleans and Las Vegas. He said the Super Show will return to Atlanta in 1998 and probably will return in 1999.


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