The majority of respondents to an online survey think it would be a good idea to turn WIN Entertainment Centre into a fully fledged convention centre.
About 85 per cent of those who took part in the Illawarra Mercury survey would like to see the centre revamped for mid-level conventions of 800 to 1500 people.
Some 15 per cent of respondents did not think the proposal - which has been rejected by the state government - was a good idea.
Venues NSW asked for $28 million for the convention project when the government first started looking to distribute $100 million from the lease of Port Kembla.
Included in the application was a $5 million contribution to Wollongong City Council for the cost of a proposed multi-level car park in Stewart Street to cater for increased visitor numbers.
However, Infrastructure NSW said the project did not meet the criteria for the Restart NSW Illawarra Infrastructure Fund.
An article in the Mercury's weekend edition, and online, which revealed predictions a convention centre could inject more than $12 million annually into the local economy, drew a mixed response from readers.
In a post on the Mercury's Facebook page, Sue Davies said that "everyone needs to back the proposed changes to the WEC".
"Something has to happen to Wollongong. It is so under-promoted and doesn't have the infrastructure to help it grow," she wrote.
"We need the WEC revamp to happen. Wollongong is a great place to live but there is so much more that can be done with it. Stop putting the brakes on and let it grow."
In a comment on the website, Jaye Rodger said the region's MPs needed to pressure state and federal governments to "focus more spending and investment into our area".
"... There has been such a diverse range of ideas asking for money from the port sale," she wrote. "... They are all proof of people thinking both in and outside the box to build on our ever-growing reputation as a place to visit, a place to stay, a place to call home."
"Lorna" also urged the region's political representatives to listen to the people: "It's a no brainer - the convention centre is a great idea."
However while "sir" thought the convention centre was a "great idea" he felt it was the "wrong location". "We need a purpose-built facility not at the WEC. We need a better location with plenty of parking."
Meanwhile K Modritsch of Albion Park was against the plan, claiming the proceeds from the port lease should be invested in projects of benefit to the majority of community members.
"The decision-makers of Wollongong cannot be serious in expecting that the state government would consider to agree to waste $28 million on yet another convention centre."
A number of readers felt government support was lacking due to Wollongong being a safe Labor seat.
However, "Not so" claimed: "It's got nothing to do with being a safe Labor seat. We simply are not organised down here. In Newcastle they have the Hunter Development Corporation which co-ordinates everything - proposals, viability studies and costings - and presents it to government as one voice. We don't have that here. That's why we only ever get the crumbs."