Construction on the $465M, tax-payer-funded facility began in January 2011, and project managers say It came in three months ahead of schedule and under budget.
The project was conceived before Ed Fitzgerald was elected Cuyahoga County's first Executive, and he was a critic of the project early on. But today he sees the convention center and companion Global Center for Health Innovation as a catalyst for future success for the region.
"The Greater Cleveland Area has been through a lot, and it's understandable why some people lost their confidence and lost their faith we could complete great projects," FitzGerald said.
"But today's opening is just the latest example that despite everything that's been thrown at this community through the years, this community... is now strong confident, optimistic, and ready to compete against the world again."
On Saturday the Convention Center will open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM for tours, autograph sessions with the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians, and other family activities.