San Francisco has completed the expansion of Moscone Center in an effort to compete with some of nation’s most prominent convention destinations.
On Thursday morning, Mayor London Breed and other city officials cut the ribbon to the newly-expanded convention center at the Moscone South lobby level, celebrating the reopening and rededication to former Mayor George Moscone.
The Moscone South lobby was dedicated to former Mayor Ed Lee.
The $551 million expansion added new exhibition space, a 50,000 square feet ballroom, artwork, outdoor terraces and a new pedestrian bridge for visitors to travel from the South and North buildings of the center.
Combined, Moscone North and South buildings total 504,000 square feet of contiguous space that visitors can access via the new bridge or through the basement level.
“It was critical that Moscone Center remained one of the top meeting destinations in the world and today we are proud unveil this world-class facility in a world-class city.”
Moscone South opened in 1981, followed by the opening of Moscone North I 1993 and then the opening of Moscone West in 2003.
City Administrator Noami Kelly said when Moscone Center was built, the convention center was a “cutting edge facility,” but said:
“Over time, it became clear that we needed to keep up with our competition. Prior to the expansion, Moscone had significantly less exhibit space than the country’s top 12 convention centers and we were at risk at losing many of our big conventions to other cities.”
Kelly said The City would have suffered with lost jobs and revenue from visitors if conventions decided to go elsewhere.
Additionally, the expansion project showcases a number of environmental features not shown publicly.
The top of Moscone South boosts The City’s largest array of rooftop solar panels that will provide 20 percent of the center’s energy. Additionally, the center has its own water treatment plant that officials estimate will recover 15 million gallons of rain water that will be reused for toilets, street cleaning and landscaping.
Contractors and planners designed the expanded center to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification with all of its environmental additions to the expanded facility.
The next event Moscone Center will host is the Winter Fancy Food show from Jan. 13 through Jan. 15.