The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (renamed for the former United States Senator from Texas) hosts many major national and international conventions, and it has a reputation as one of the best-run convention centers in America. The center boasts the largest column-free exhibit hall in the country and offers more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space. The Convention Center also has two ballrooms that will hold more than 1,000 people in each, an arena that can seat up to 9,000, and a theater that can seat more than 1,700. Interesting fact: the world’s largest heliport is located on top of the building.
Constructed in 1957, the Convention Center was expanded several times, including in 1994 when Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) built the convention center station underneath the west part of the building. In 2012, the 1,000-room Convention Center Hotel will be connected to the Convention Center.