Convention Center Debuts $325 Million Makeover
The City of San Antonio has unveiled the newly expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Coming in at $325 million it’s the largest capital improvement project in the city’s history
The long-awaited new convention center with massive echoing exhibit halls and tall ceilings is ready to welcome big events and their attendees to San Antonio. “We are celebrating a new era for the convention and hospitality sector in San Antonio,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said on Tuesday at the grand opening.
The convention center needed a boost in size. Many frequent conventions were outgrowing the old footprint. Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Cassandra Matej says the increased space was needed for larger gatherings like NCAA men’s basketball in 2018. “The Final Four would not have been able to come to San Antonio had it not been for the expansion of this building and the monies that we’re putting into the Alamodome right across the way,” she said
The convention center is now more than 1.6 million square feet and holds the largest ballroom in the state of Texas at 54,000 sq. ft.. Next on the list is to demolish portions of the old convention center to provide new land to Hemisfair. Even then, convention, sports, and facilities director for the city, Mike Sawaya said the center will still retain usable exhibit space. “We’ll have 100,000 more of sellable space. The actual building itself is about 300,000 sq ft more than the previous building,” he added.
With the added space, at least 34 new conventions have been secured for San Antonio. The anticipated tax revenue impact is expected to increase by 25 percent.