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Industry Briefs
San Antonio Tops Off Convention Center Expansion Ahead Of Schedule

San Antonio recently topped off the $325-million expansion of its Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center three months ahead of schedule. The $93.5 million first phase of construction added 270,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space on the center's eastern side.

Set for completion in February 2016, the transformation of the center is the largest capital project in the city's history. When completed, it will offer:

  • 514,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space
  •  270,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit space
  •  85,000 sq. ft. of column-free multipurpose space
  • More than 54,000-sq. ft. ballroom
  • 70 meeting spaces including divisible breakout rooms
  • Wrap-around balcony with views of historic downtown and River Walk
  • Enhanced circulation and way finding
  • Well-defined street and river entrances

"As our convention center is the heart of many San Antonio meetings, it's imperative that we offer the most flexible, innovative space possible," said Casandra Matej, executive director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The added bonus of meeting our goals in a timely manner while maximizing resources speaks volumes as to how San Antonio works together as a community."

Even through construction, 2014 was the convention center's most successful year ever: 

The creation of new meeting space on the center's eastern side before demolishing original meeting space on the western side has allowed the center to remain operational during construction. This contributed to fiscal year 2014 being the center's busiest in history with 327 events that welcomed more than 770,000 attendees, an increase from 655,000 patrons who attended 312 events the prior year.

Outdoor Meeting Opportunities Enhance Destination Experience:

Once exhibit space on the western side is demolished, neighboring Hemisfair Park will be expanded, allowing for ample outdoor meeting experiences. Open-air opportunities are enhanced by the center's ideal River Walk location that not only provides riverside venues, but also places the center within walking distance to thousands of hotel rooms, restaurants and shops.

"San Antonio's distinct visitor experience combined with a strong meeting infrastructure is what makes us one of the nation's top convention destinations," Matej said. "This project allows us to provide a top-of-the-line facility that is flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse groups - all in one of the nation's most desirable cities."

Learn more about San Antonio meetings at .