Policy Update | Convention Center Renovation

On the evening of May 30th, the Sacramento City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the proposed Sacramento Convention Center renovation and expansion. This smart and careful plan lays the foundation for sustained economic health for our downtown, city and entire region.

In total, the Council’s resolution approved nine components related to the expansion including authorization for the City Manager to proceed with design of the expansion and execution of an agreement with Populous, Inc. for their design plans. Additional design contracts and loans were also approved for the project moving forward. Finally, the City Manager and City Treasurer were directed to return to Council in August, 2017 with a framework for the financing of the expansion, including both Phase 1 and Phase 2; potential project assistance for a proposed convention-serving hotel; and creation of a proposed Destination Sacramento fund.

The approved expansion, developed by Populous with city staff and community input, includes two major phases:

The first phase includes expanded exhibit space, a new kitchen, pre-function space, additional meeting rooms, an east lobby and a new west lobby. A new plaza between the SCC and the Community Center Theater (CCT) would be constructed which would include an outdoor amphitheater.

This initial phase would result in a 205,000-square foot (sf) building:

  • Exhibit hall: 121,500 – 161,500 sf
  • Meeting space: 21,500 – 43,500 sf
  • Ballroom: 24,000 and 40,000 sf
  • Total: 205,000 sf

The second phase would include a new 40,000 sf ballroom on the second floor of the west side of the SCC along with a second kitchen attached to ballroom, additional restrooms, and pre-function space. With Council authorization and bond issuance early next year, construction could start in late March 2018 and conclude in late 2020. Additional details on the proposed expansion are included in the full staff report and this article in today’s Sacramento Bee.

Downtown Partnership staff will continue to monitor the progress of the expansion as we move towards August. Expanding and enhancing the Convention Center supports our city’s efforts to reinvigorate the heart of our Central Business district. The plan approved by Council last night is the right plan at the right time. As one of our 2017 priorities, we are excited to watch this key downtown project move forward.