The Monroeville Convention Center will remain open local leaders announce

The Monroeville Convention Center will remain open, local leaders announce

MONROEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) – The Monroeville Convention Center will remain open, a coalition of world leaders announced Tuesday.

Monroeville officials said they were blindsided by news last month that the convention center would close in June and be converted into a Hobby Lobby. After learning of the closure, officials said they would work to communicate to Hobby Lobby and the Oxford Development Company how important the convention center was to the community, and the two companies agreed it was best to seek termination of the Hobby Lobby lease.

“We want to thank Hobby Lobby and Oxford for their sincere efforts to achieve a positive outcome,” Monroeville Mayor Nick Gresock said in a video.

The state, county and township are working on a transition plan that leaders say will result in the convention center operating as a “long-term community asset under either a new township- or government-based ownership structure or a state-backed lease.”

Several elected leaders, including Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, Senator Jim Brewster and Senator Jay Costa, released a joint statement saying:

“The Monroeville Convention Center is saved! We are pleased to announce that the MCC will continue to welcome tens of thousands of visitors each year, support hundreds of local jobs and generate millions in economic activity.”

“Today’s announcement is the result of several weeks of discussions, including information sharing about the major impact of the MCC. We would like to thank Hobby Lobby and Oxford for their sincere efforts to achieve a positive outcome. Everyone at the table has been working behind the scenes to achieve an outcome that will result in the MCC becoming a properly owned and financed community asset.”

Monroeville officials say they will begin reaching out to vendors for shows and events previously scheduled for June 1 and beyond in hopes of bringing them back to the convention center as planned.

The public outcry was so great that other venues came to the rescue. 247 Fighting Championships offered its 27,000 square foot space when it becomes available this summer. KDKA-TV's Shelley Bortz met with the owner again when the news broke.

“At least ten companies have come forward like Instant. It was very clear that there was a need and that there was a struggle for a lot of people,” Hunter Homistek said.

“My first reaction was just that I was really happy for the people who were initially affected so badly by this,” he added.

More from CBS News

Madeline Bartos

Read more