All You Need to Know About the Rocky Mount Event Center

Article Updated: November 2018

rocky mount event centerWhat do volleyball, dance recitals, your next family reunion and a jazz concert have in common? 
They are all events that can be hosted at the Rocky Mount Event Center. This amazing venue will contribute to the evolving face of Rocky Mount’s renovated downtown. We’re sure you have some questions about the center, and we’ve got the answers.

Before we delve into the facts and figures, you may find it interesting to know that talk of an event center is not a new thing -- it was discussed by the Rocky Mount city council in the 1940s.


The concept of an event center in Rocky Mount

While the idea was discussed in the 40s, it wasn’t until 1974 that an actual report mentioned a civic center that could host trade shows, conventions and cultural events. A Rocky Mount convention center was discussed again in the 1990s.

However, it was in 2012 that the idea of an event center gained more traction. Why? Four words: South Spring Sports Festival. Rocky Mount, NC was selected to host the national event in 2013 and 2014. The sports complex was the perfect venue for these events. (You can read more about the Rocky Mount Sports Complex in an earlier article in the Rocky Mount Review.) 

The economic impact of the festival was staggering.

Nash County’s Travel and Tourism Bureau estimated that the economic impact from the 2013 event was roughly $500,000. The sports complex is a boom to Rocky Mount’s economy. 

While the USA South Spring Sports Festival did wonderful in Rocky Mount, the city missed the opportunity to host USA South Basketball. Why?

Because Rocky Mount didn’t have a venue large enough for indoor sports.

Indoor conference games such as volleyball and basketball require seating capacity for around 3,000 to 6,000 people. Officials felt if they wanted to take advantage of the economic impact these indoor sports could make, then it was time to once again discuss the event center. 

We’ve compiled some interesting facts and figures you’ll find useful.

By the numbers

The Rocky Mount NC event center will be versatile enough to be an appropriate venue for all kinds of activities. It will:
  • Have 16 volleyball courts
  • Feature 8 basketball courts
  • Have a total of 150,000 square feet
  • Include an indoor ropes course
  • Contain classrooms for leadership classes and corporate team building

As always, the schematics of the building only represent part of the story. The event center will also serve as a wonderful employment opportunity. The city estimates the event center will:

  • Create 50 new jobs
  • Create an additional 200 construction jobs
  • Have job openings for highly skilled workers, such as a general manager or marketing supervisor.


Overall economic impact of the Rocky Mount Event Center

If past experience is any indicator, the event center will have a huge economic impact similar to that of the Rocky Mount Sports Complex.  If you look at the track record of Rocky Mount Sports Complex. In 2013:

  • There were 85,000 tournament participants
  • There were 20,000 spectators affiliated with the event
  • It had an overall $9 million impact.

Now, consider this:

The U.S. Travel Association indicates that in 2012, roughly 27 percent of all trips inside the United States were directly related to some type of organized sporting event.

That fact alone indicates the potential impact the Rocky Mount Event Center can have!

Where to Park

A bright future for Rocky Mount 

The event center will be positioned north of the historic Douglas Block, and while the main entrance will be along North East Main Street, the building will be beautifully designed so that from any side, it will look welcoming.

Hmm… something that looks welcoming from all directions.

Sounds a bit like Rocky Mount itself!

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