San Francisco's Moscone Center Gets Expansion Go Ahead

February 13, 2013

Expansion plans for San Francisco’s Moscone Center received a major boost, with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently approving the creation of the Moscone Expansion District, which will provide the majority of funding for the expansion of the city’s convention center.

In a unanimous vote, the Board passed a resolution approving the establishment of the MED and three additional measures that will help finance the expansion through issuance of Certificates of Participation and allow the project to move forward in the environmental review process.

“San Francisco Travel is proud to be continuing and expanding our public/private partnership with our City partners to transform the Moscone Center into a state-of-the-art facility that will be even more competitive in attracting conventions to our city,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association.

The majority of the funding for the expansion project costs will be hotel assessments from the MED.

The remaining will come from a continuation of funding from the city’s General Fund, with project costs estimated to be $500 million.

The expansion of Moscone Center will add approximately 350,000 to 400,000 square feet to the convention center, including 80,000 or more square feet of contiguous exhibit, with a bid to attract larger conventions. The entire three-building complex currently is 1.2 million sq. ft.

“San Francisco has already lost meetings representing $2.057 billion in direct spending as a result of space limitations for meetings with dates between 2010 and 2019. The existing three-building configuration of Moscone Center is effectively filled to capacity,” D’Alessandro said.

He added, “Therefore, it is impossible to significantly grow the San Francisco convention market without providing additional meeting and exhibit space – especially contiguous exhibition space.”

Moscone Center currently hosts 1 million visitors each year and generates more than $1.6 billion in visitor spending.

The expansion is expected to bring several benefits to the city:

Create 3,424 long-term jobs (in addition to construction jobs).

Bring in $713 million in direct spending in the first seven years after expansion opens.

Contribute $320 million more in incremental hotel tax revenues to the General Fund over the life of the District.

The district will begin collecting revenues in July 0f 2013 and construction of the expansion is anticipated to begin November 2014 with completion anticipated in 2018.

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