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Southern Baptist Convention may likely leave Charlotte due to lack of space



CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Southern Baptist Convention said this week that their 2023 convention, which had been scheduled for years in Charlotte, may likely be moved due to lack of space.

The annual meeting was set to take place at the Charlotte Convention Center. Officials with the Southern Baptist Convention told Queen City News on Friday that the space now needed for the meeting is more than double what the convention center can currently handle.

“We had been averaging 5,700 people at the meeting. Now, we’re averaging around 9,700, and we expect 10,000-12,000 in Charlotte,” said Jonathan How with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.  “The facility, at best, would only hold around 8,000 with our exhibit hall and meeting space.”

The vote, which is set for next week, would likely move the convention to New Orleans. Howe said the Louisiana city was the only one available for the conference, given the time and planning constraints.

Charlotte has been keen to host conventions and large business meetings because of the economic impact that can come to the city in terms of extra spending for hotels, restaurants, and shopping. 

In a statement, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said: “We continue to enhance our ability to meet the needs of meeting planners and their attendees, and the recent expansion of the Charlotte Convention Center means we are able to pursue and host the large majority of conventions that happen in the U.S.”

Officials with the Southern Baptist Convention noted that space availability and growing attendance were the only concerns in the decision-making process in deciding on a move away from Charlotte.

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