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LA City Council Moves Convention Center Expansion Project Forward

The Los Angeles City Council voted to move plans forward for a major expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center

By Amanda Christensen

In early July, the Los Angeles City Council voted to move forward with the Los Angeles Convention Center expansion project to be completed before the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project is slated to create thousands of jobs for locals, attract new visitors, and bring additional revenue for the city.

“Thank you to the city council for their vision and leadership to invest in a public infrastructure project that is essential for LA’s future,” says Doane Liu, chief tourism officer and executive director of the City of Los Angeles’ City Tourism Department, in a prepared statement. “Despite being in the second-largest city in the United States, the Los Angeles Convention Center is currently a second-tier facility, and we are losing out on business to other cities due to the constraints of the convention center. With this expansion, the Los Angeles Convention Center will become a premier destination that is able to pursue larger events that bring visitors to LA who spend money at our local hotels, restaurants, and attractions—adding additional revenue to the city’s general fund.”

Los Angeles skyline with convention center in foreground. July 8, 2024
Los Angeles skyline with convention center in foreground || Photo by Markus Maika, courtesy of Adobe

The council approved a design-build delivery model through a joint venture with LA-based Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) Worldwide and The Plenary Group, an independent long-term investment, development, and management company of public infrastructure, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The city will work with these two organizations alongside Populous (architecture firm), PCL Construction, and Webcor (general contractors) over the upcoming months to finalize design plans, schedules, and costs before construction is slated to begin next spring.

“The expansion and modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center are critical for the continued recovery of our local economy,” says Adam Burke, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. “Citywide conventions support thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses across every LA region and neighborhood, and we’re grateful to the city council for their leadership in advancing this pivotal initiative with [this] vote. As one of the travel industry’s premier meeting destinations, we look forward to seeing this world-class facility come to life.”

Outdoor walkway leading up to entrance of Los Angeles Convention Center. July 8, 2024
Outdoor walkway leading up to entrance of Los Angeles Convention Center || Photo by Simone, courtesy of Adobe

The expansion project is expected to bring in some $165 million in visitor spending each year alongside the creation of more than 7,000 jobs during construction and more than 2,000 jobs on an ongoing basis. It will connect the convention center’s current south and west exhibit halls by adding 190,000 square feet of space to create a single, contiguous hall. It will also add 55,000 square feet of new meeting space and 95,000 square feet of multipurpose space. The project also includes plans to redesign the center’s Gilbert Lindsay Plaza, which will provide open public space and offer a memorable outdoor venue for events.

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