BANGOR — A group of civic and business leaders, including representatives of Hollywood Slots, banks and the Bangor Mall, are announcing their support for a new event and convention center in Bangor.

Friends of the Maine Center said today they want the Bangor City Council to move ahead with the proposed project as soon as possible.

They point to an economic impact study that shows the facility would create more than 400 jobs and return $26 million annually to the local economy. They also announced a website in support of their campaign, www.themainecenter.com.

The group says the present Bangor Auditorium is more than a half century old, and was obsolete on the day it opened.

Friends of the Maine Center also includes representatives of Eastern Maine Development Corp., Bangor Savings Bank, the Bangor Daily News and Husson University.