SOUTH BEND | CENTURY CENTER | 140 FT | 14 FLOORS | hotel / convention space

Century Center along the banks of the St. Joseph River in downtown South Bend and other sites of the city’s venues, are part of a study that proposes as much as $85 million should be spent to keep the Phillip Johnson starchitect designed facility competitive with other convention centers in other midsize cities.

According to the South Bend Tribune the first phase of the project would likely involve a $2.5 million renovation of the Bendix Theatre, which already is in need of new seating and carpeting. Instead of just refreshing the theatre, the study by Ratio Architects of Indianapolis builds the case for its conversion into an e-sports arena.

A few cities across the country already have developed, or are planning, esports complexes, but Jarnecke said there are none within a wide radius of South Bend, pointing out that the changes would give the Century Center a market advantage without harming any of its existing uses.

If the first phase of the project is completed and ultimately proves to be successful, Ratio Architects suggested that up to an additional $2.5 million could be used to develop space for team training and socializing as well as production space so that tournaments could be streamed on YouTube’s gaming channel, Twitch and more.

Beyond those changes, the architectural and planning firm also recommended that the Century Center ultimately could provide modern convention space that’s capable of competing with the likes of Fort Wayne and Kalamazoo if as much as $80 million was spent reconfiguring and expanding the facility, as well as finding a partner to develop a 200-room hotel on the site.

The firm identified numerous financial sources that could be explored to make the overall project a reality including tax increment financing or TIF money, a food and beverage tax, tax-incentived private money and the county’s innkeeper’s tax.

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New E-Sports venue inside of Century Center Bendix Theater planned.safe_image

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