UNCASVILLE, Conn.—Leaders of the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun gathered Thursday afternoon at the flagship property in Connecticut to announce the official plans for The Mohegan Sun Expo Center. Construction is underway with a target opening date of summer 2018. The expansion will span over 240,000 gross square-feet and will be located by the Winter Parking garage and in close proximity to Mohegan Sun’s newest hotel, Earth Tower. The New York-based architect firm KPF (Kohn Pedersen Fox) and the construction team out of North Stonington, A/Z Corp, are partners on the project.
The Exposition and Convention Center is expected to attract more corporate and association trade shows, in addition to exhibitions such as Barrett-Jackson and the National Association of Postal Supervisors. It gives Mohegan Sun a great opportunity to also expand current consumer-geared shows like Terrificon and bring about tech industry shows, golf shows, musical extravaganzas, home-shows, motorsports, and hunting & fishing shows. One of the first partnerships announced by Assistant General Manager Jeff Hamilton, is with United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI), as he eluded to a full-scale food show already in early planning stages for next year.
Mohegan Tribal Chairman, Kevin Brown who spoke at the event, touched on more exciting partnerships to come and further positive impacts that the Expo Center will soon have for southeastern Connecticut.
“This new conference center will help solidify Mohegan Sun as not just the premier conventions destination, but the premier resort in the Northeast region. It will enable us to host some of the largest trade shows in the nation and take back some of the lost conventions that seek bigger venues in Boston and New York,” he said.
The Mohegan Sun Expo Center will bring in an estimated 200 jobs, including construction and permanent roles, as well as an anticipated 100 supplier jobs.
The Exposition Center itself, will be 131,000 net square feet. The center will feature a 21,412-net square-foot ballroom, divisible into two and featuring over 3,000 net square feet of pre-function space. There will also be free parking, 18 meeting rooms, a 1,263 square-foot boardroom with 230 square feet of pre-function space and its own outdoor terrace, 3,600 net square feet of outdoor space, and a 5,361-net square-foot kitchen.
Additional features include a mobile box office, digital displays inside and outside the center, free Wi-Fi, and contiguous exhibit space.
On the design front, the new Expo Center will be a column-free structure with clerestory windows. The main circulation spine that connects the exposition hall to the pre-function area also provides access to the overall facility, including the ballroom and adjustable meeting rooms. Along this path, floor-to-ceiling windows and doors lead visitors onto an outdoor patio. Greenery extends east to the recently completed Earth Tower, which shares the same entry as the Sky Tower. Interior finishes will recall the Tribe’s cultural history, with custom carpeting and light fixtures that reflect Native American motifs. Additional below-grade entertainment tenant space will comprise of 20,000 square feet of the total expanse, further diversifying the center’s mixed-use program.
Once completed in the summer of 2018, ideally in time for next year’s Barret-Jackson Car Collector’s Auction, Mohegan Sun will be home to the largest meetings and convention spaces between Boston, MA, and New York City.