The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently approved the creation of the Moscone Expansion District (MED) which will provide the majority of funding for the expansion of the city’s convention center.
The Board unanimously passed a resolution approving three measures that will help finance the expansion through and issuance of Certificates of Participation and allow the project to move forward in the environmental review process.
“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,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. “The existing three-building configuration of Moscone Center is effectively filled to capacity. Therefore, it is impossible to significantly grow the San Francisco convention market without providing additional meeting and exhibit space, especially contiguous exhibition space.”
The expansion of the Moscone Center is expected to have a $500 million price tag. Hotel assessments from the MED will provide two thirds of the funding, with the other third will coming from a continuation of funding from the city’s General Fund.
The expansion will add approximately 350,000 to 400,000 square feet to the convention center, including 80,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, essential for attracting larger conventions.
“Investing in the expansion of our world class Moscone Center is absolutely essential for San Francisco because tourism dollars generated by activities at the convention center ripple into every neighborhood of the city through jobs, local purchases and taxes paid by visitors,” said Edwin L. Lee, mayor of San Francisco. “The City is proud to partner with the hotel and tourism industry to make this investment which will help grow our recovering economy and create jobs.”
Moscone Center currently hosts 1 million visitors each year and generates more than $1.6 billion in visitor spending. This spending contributes millions of dollars to San Francisco’s General Fund and supports thousands of jobs.
The planned expansion is expected to create 3,424 long-term jobs and induce $713 million in direct spending in the first seven years after the expansion opens.