Jonesboro residents hope plans for convention center move forward

Jonesboro residents hope plans for convention center move forward

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- It's been several years in the making and Jonesboro residents hope plans for a convention center continue to move forward.

Region 8 News spoke to people around town who said a convention center would bring in more tourists and money to the city.

Arkansas State University said contract negotiations are ongoing for a proposed convention center on campus.

"A convention center is not just for people out of town for people to come in and have conventions and meetings, it's also for our local citizens," said Cari White, chief operating officer at the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce.

White said this plan has been in the working for nearly 10 years conducting studies and surveys on how a convention center will boost the local economy.The facility would be located on the 11-acre tract of land known as the "old track." 

"The local citizens and the local businesses who want to bring in sales people for a three day seminar , that’s going to be beneficial to everybody," White said. 

The school is working with a company out of Illinois but if that partnership falls through, bidding will reopen. ASU has yet to specify how the project will be funded but said tuition rates will not increase for students. Some Jonesboro residents are still on the fence about this new center. 

"When I first heard about it I thought we have the convention convocation center already, why do we need more," said Donna Stinger."Several people have said that it really will add to Jonesboro tourist and economy and such and I’m all for that. 

Jonesboro resident, Deloris Tolbert said she remembers when the city planned to build a convention center a few years ago and hopes this time plans follow through.

"I think it would just be fabulous," she said. "They would have a nice place to stay and have meetings and all the things that we need.."

The hotel and convention center will be built between the Convocation Center and the football stadium. 

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