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Pa. Convention Center OKs management change

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Pennsylvania Convention Center has voted to hire a private firm to run the day-to-day operations.

The center's board voted 13-2 Wednesday to hire SMG, a West Conshohocken-based management group that runs arenas and other large. SMG was picked over Global Spectrum, a unit of Comcast-Spectacor.

The decision comes amid reports of a steep decline in major convention bookings beginning next year, through at least 2016.

Convention Center board chairman Gregory Fox says it's one of several initiatives to modernize operations, reduce costs, and enhance the Center's ability to compete with other major facilities in the increasingly competitive trade show and convention industry.

Since it opened 20 years ago, the Pennsylvania Convention Center has been run by a politically appointed board that oversees paid staff.