The $800 million taxpayer financed center has struggled withcost overruns and a dearth of bookings as it began to come onlinein one of the country's worst economies in years. In addition, thedevelopment of the headquarters hotel for the convention center,which is considered crucial to the success of the conventioncenter, was stymied by a lack of financing and is now expected toopen a year later than the convention center, in the fall of 2005.The hotel's developer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide,finally signed a lease with the MCCA this past February.

The center has also had to contend with a vocal opposition thatinsisted that the city did not need a second convention center inaddition to the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center,a smaller center that is located in the Back Bay. As of this pastwinter, there were only 18 shows booked for the new conventioncenter for 10 years beginning in 2004.

But the new announcement from the MCCA notes that the center nowhas 30 definite events and 68 tentative events scheduled at the newconvention center through 2010.

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