MMPI To Bow Out As Operator Of Cleveland Convention Center

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Cuyahoga County plans to replace Chicago-based MMPI as operator of the Cleveland convention center and the Global Center on Health Innovation. ideastream's Bill Rice reports

Attorney Jeff Appelbaum, who consults with the county on the project, says MMPI has been selling off assets and isn't as focused on the convention center business as they have been in the past. He called the split a mutual decision.

"We made the determination that it would be in everyone's best interests if MMPI worked with us to complete the construction," he said, "but that at an appropriate point in time we identified an operator that was much more heavily invested in the convention center business to ultimately take over the operation."

A spokesman for MMPI confirmed the business is looking for a company to manage the convention center.

MMPI involvement in the convention center and what was then called the medical mart was brokered for the county by Squire Sanders attorney Fred Nance, who currently is special advisor and General Counsel to the Cleveland Browns. MMPI was instrumental in selecting the site for the joint facility and overseeing construction from start to finish. Its contract to manage the facility was for 20 years.

Jeff Appelbaum says the county isn't ready to announce a new operator, and that the terms for ending the contract with MMPI haven't been finalized yet.

In an Interview with the Plain Dealer, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said the new operator will have a proven track record in competing with conventions all over the country."

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