Press Release-Meydenbauer Capital Improvements Plan

August 5, 2014



Meydenbauer Center Advances $12.5 Million

Capital Improvements Plan for 20-year-old Facility

Financing sourced from current Meydenbauer Center reserves and bonds repaid by future revenues; Does not require contribution from City of Bellevue’s General Fund

 Capital improvements focus on much-needed exterior and interior improvements

previously delayed by the Great Recession


Bellevue, WA – August 5, 2014 – Meydenbauer Center (, the Puget Sound region’s second largest convention facility, today announced plans to advance a $12.5 million capital improvements plan that will fund much-needed exterior and interior improvements to the facility.

As confirmed by the City of Bellevue’s finance department, the $12.5 million Meydenbauer Center capital improvement program does not require any contribution from the City’s general fund. Instead, Bellevue City Council approved a transfer to the Bellevue Convention Center Authority of approximately $4.1 million from the proceeds of the sale of the Old Convention Center Site currently held in reserves. In addition, the Council approved support from the City in the form of bond funding, which will allow the Center to secure the best possible interest rates. The Center will cover the debt service for the bonds within its own dedicated revenue streams.

“Investing in the future is critical as we continue to grow and meet our clients’ changing needs,” said Meydenbauer Center Board Chair Rick Carlson. “While still in generally great shape, the reality is that Meydenbauer is a 20-year-old facility that needs investment from time-to-time to ensure it operates competitively and efficiently. We hoped to begin some of these projects about 10 years ago, but the Great Recession prevented that from happening. Now, the timing is right to put this back on the table and ensure Meydenbauer continues to be an important economic development engine for the Eastside and the region now and in the years to come.”

Capital Reinvestment Projects

Meydenbauer Center is a self-sustaining facility that operates as a Public Development Authority. Revenues generated from direct charges to facility users, catering, meeting services and Bellevue hotel/motel taxes fund its operating expenses.

The new capital reinvestment projects will focus on interior and exterior improvements to both the structural health of the facility and regional/national competitiveness of the convention center.

These capital reinvestment projects include:

  • Building Envelope Remediation – Targeted replacement of damaged exterior insulation finishing systems (EIFS); removal and replacement of all exterior sealant joints; and sealing of all existing EIFS. This project will protect the integrity of the building envelope and avoid water damage to the facility.
  • Interior Improvements – Extensive interior enhancements to the meeting rooms, public lobbies, restrooms and theatre.

  • Technology Improvements – Extensive upgrades to audiovisual systems, new structured cabling, network and a wide area network (WAN) to meet the demands of high-tech corporate conventions and meetings.

Meydenbauer Center plans to begin work in June 2015 and finish by September 2015. This timing will minimize client disruption since work will be taking place during the slower summer months, and it also allows time to accomplish the architectural design, construction bidding and other preparations.

Meydenbauer Center: 20 Years Fueling the Eastside & the Region

In 2013, Meydenbauer celebrated its 20th anniversary. This milestone was a time to celebrate two decades of economic development, performance art and community gatherings, as well as a time to reflect on the future of the Center as a leader and partner in a growing and diversifying Eastside community.

Meydenbauer is the greater Seattle area’s second largest convention facility. It includes 54,000 square-feet of event space, including a 36,000 square-foot Center Hall, nine meeting rooms totaling 12,000 square-feet, a 2,500 square-foot Executive Conference Suite and a 410-seat performing arts theatre.

Last year alone, Meydenbauer hosted 353 conventions and events and welcomed more than 177,000 attendees, generating $34.5 million in economic impact. The Theatre at Meydenbauer provided a venue for 159 local and regional artistic performances and hosted more than 40,000 patrons.

Through its performing arts Theatre, Meydenbauer also reflects the increasing cultural diversity of the region through groups like the Asian American Performing Arts Theatre, Bolly Steps Dance Studio, Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera and many others that thrive at the Theatre.

“We opened Meydenbauer Center back in 1993 as a venue to cultivate culture and community – a place where Bellevue could host large events, national conferences and public forums,” said Robert Wallace, one of Meydenbauer Center’s founding board members. “Fast forward 20 years and downtown Bellevue is a regional economic force – and Meydenbauer Center has played a significant role in its evolution.”

Since opening, Meydenbauer Center hosted more than 7,600 events and contributed more than $390 million in economic impact to the City of Bellevue.

“Strong financial performance has always been at the heart of our planning and operational goals,” said Stacy Graven, Meydenbauer Center’s executive director since 1994. “We have to manage downturns and recessions just like any business, but we work hard to make sure we rebound well and regain our competitive edge. In fact, 2014 is on track to be one of our best financial years to date.”

Convention Sports Leisure, a leading consulting firm specializing in the convention, sport, entertainment and visitor industries, released a study last year that highlighted Meydenbauer Center as a national industry leader in financial operating performance compared with 10 similar venues locally and around the country. The Center currently ranks fourth highest nationally in operating revenue and third highest in revenue per square foot.

For more information about events and catering at Meydenbauer Center, please contact Stacy Graven at (425) 637-1020 or

About Meydenbauer Center

Founded in 1993, Meydenbauer Center ( is a full-service convention center and theatre serving conventions, corporate and community meetings, and the performing arts in Bellevue, Washington. Meydenbauer Convention Center serves a unique, mid-sized market for conventions, providing groups of 300 to 3,000 with turnkey facilities and services and personalized customer service. Meydenbauer Center is owned and operated by the Bellevue Convention Center Authority, a non-profit Public Development Authority chartered by the City of Bellevue. Created in December 1989, the Authority was organized pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington 35.21.730 et seq.