ATLANTA-The Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center in Duluth, GA, about 25 miles from Downtown, will undergo a major expansion beginning early in 2001.

The $88 million project by the Gwinnett Tourism and Convention Bureau includes plans for a 13,100-seat arena and a ballroom that can seat 1,500 people, more than four times larger than the existing ballroom. Construction is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter.

The expansion will be paid for with county hotel-motel revenue through an agreement with the Gwinnett County Commission. In addition to attracting more and larger conventions, planners want to fill a void for local residents in providing a venue for concerts, shows and sporting events and offering larger banquet and meeting space.

There is even talk among supporters of bringing in a minor league hockey team.

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