(From Successful Meetings, November 24, 2013) A Long Beach, California, sports arena underwent a $7-million transformation. On November 20, Long Beach, California, opened a new venue. Once a sports venue the 46,000 square foot area is now called the Pacific Ballroom. The space is to be used for several different purposes including weddings and banquets. Steve Goodling, President and CEO of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke at the opening gala. He commented that, “The new loft-style ballroom and event space is an incredible ‘out-of-the-box design,’ something that’s never been done before, and it’s being done for the first time, in Long Beach.” He also mentioned how it gives their sales teams multiple new opportunities to sell the event space. More than 1,300 guests attended the opening which was called “Sky Transformation.”
This ballroom has many different features that most other venues in Long Beach are lacking. It dramatically increases the convention center’s ability to bring in new convention groups and special events by providing a larger and more versatile event space. They have the largest flying grid in the United States as well as ceilings that can be lowered or raised depending on the event. The venue can hold up to 5,500 people.
Two architects collaborated on the design the ballroom: The Architect of Record, John Fisher, and Associate Architect, Jerry Sherman. Sherman was also involved in creating the sports center that came before the ballroom. The design consultant and architects agree that the best aspect of this ballroom is how it is a blank canvas. They describe the ballroom as flexible and easy to transform for any event.
The ballroom creates new possibilities for meeting and event planners. Now that the ballroom is so open and flexible it allows more convention groups and special events to participate there. Before the opening the ballroom had already booked over $27 million that directly impacts the economy of Long Beach.