Final Phase of Roland E. Powell Convention Center Expansion Finished in Ocean City


Ribbon cutting after third and final phase of the expansion of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center is completed. Photo courtesy State of Maryland

Governor Larry Hogan today participated in a ribbon cutting for the third and final expansion of the Roland E. Powell Ocean City Convention Center. The $38 million expansion—a partnership between the State of Maryland and the Town of Ocean City—includes a new 30,000-square foot exhibition hall, and a 15,000-square foot bayside gallery. 

“The entire mission of our state government continues to be keeping Maryland open for business, and this ribbon cutting is another shining example that we are doing exactly what we said we would do,” said Governor Hogan. “The completion of this transformative project is another sign of our continued health and economic recovery and of our commitment to coming back stronger and better than ever before.”

The governor was joined for today’s announcement by Ocean City Mayor Marty Meehan and Maryland Stadium Authority Chairman Tom Kelso.

Governor Hogan announced the final expansion in 2018 after authorizing the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) to move forward with funding. MSA, which provided $22.5 million in bonds for the expansion, also managed the design and construction of the project—which is expected to generate up to 30 new events annually and support more than 500 local jobs.

Ground was broken on the project in April 2020, and construction was completed in January. The first event to utilize the expansion is the Seaside Boat Show, which the governor also visited today. 

Today’s ribbon cutting comes a day after the governor’s announcement in Salisbury of a new $50 million Rural Maryland Economic Development Fund, to help stimulate further investment and job creation in the state’s rural counties.

The Ocean City Convention Center at 40th Street first opened in 1970. The first expansion of that facility was completed in 1997 and the facility was renamed for late Mayor Roland E. Powell. The City pushed for another expansion in 2007. Ground was broken for Phase 1 in 2011 – it expanded the bayfront Exhibit Hall and Ballroom by 14,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet respectively and provided boardwalk access to the first floor.

Phase 2 broke ground in 2013 and added a 1,200-seat Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2014. The facility includes two-tiered seating, state-of-the-art lighting, audio, video and stage equipment, and dressing rooms.

It took some time before Phase 3 was started, but ground was broken in March of 2020 and includes a 30,000 square foot expansion of the Exhibit Hall, as well as the addition of a Bayfront Gallery, second floor conference room and restrooms, and loading dock.