THE NEWLY EXPANDED Pennsylvania Convention Center is turning out to be a dud. With a capital D-U-D.

The $1.3 billion structure has failed to attract the convention business promised by those who lobbied for the expansion that nearly doubled its size to 974,000 square feet.

The $780 million expansion - paid entirely with taxpayer dollars - was billed as the key to growing the hotel, restaurant and hospitality sector of the local economy. Two years after the expanded center opened, it has yet to live up to expectations. Worse still, the future looks grim.

Interviews with convention center insiders, along with documents obtained by, tell the story.

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