The coronavirus pandemic has claimed an historic tradition that was also part of the local economy.
After 35 years, the International Exposition Center, also known as the I-X Center, is shutting down its operations for good at the end of the year. The news was announced on Sept. 16.
The event industry took a serious hit during the pandemic, especially as mass gatherings were initially illegal under the order of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine as the illness went underway.
From WEWS News 5 Cleveland:
Since 1985, the I-X Center has been home to annual events such as the Home and Garden Show, the Auto Show and the Indoor Amusement Park. It has welcomed more than 2 million visitors annually. In the late 80s, the 2.2. million-square-foot building was first recognized in the Guinness World Records as the largest single building convention center in the county.
The I-X Center has also become a key attraction and tourism hotspot in the Cleveland area, thanks to the events and trade shows that have taken place there, along with its location near Hopkins International Airport and different freeways.
Its building has been the home of the Cleveland Bomber Plant, also known as the Cleveland Tank Plant. It was soon held by the Department of Defense with General Motors operating the facilities “as the Fisher Body Aircraft Plant No. 2, making the B-29 bomber.”
National Terminals later used it for soybean storage before the GM Cadillac Division used the “site to manufacture army tanks” and making the Walker Bulldog through the mid-1950’s.
Since 1985, it has been the I-X Center, later expanding into 2.2 million-square-foot.
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Article Courtesy of WEWS News 5 Cleveland
First and Second Picture Courtesy of Douglas Sacha and Getty Images
LOCAL NEWS: Cleveland’s I-X Center to Shut Down at The End of 2020 was originally published on wzakcleveland.com