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$3.7B Renovation of Dallas Convention Center Moves Forward

The phased Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas revamp is slated to begin later this year

By Alesha Taylor

After landslide votes for approval by both the city and its residents in 2021 and 2022, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas expansion and rebuild project is officially underway. The Dallas City Council recently awarded a $71 million project management services contract to Inspire Dallas for Component One of the KBHCCD Master Plan.

Component One includes the expansion of the convention center, as well as a deck with a park for gathering outdoors above Interstate 30. With the expansion, the facility will have 170,000 square feet of ballroom space, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 800,000 square feet of exhibit space, in addition to necessary accessibility upgrades for visitors with disabilities, including mobility, hearing, and visual impairments.

Exterior of Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas || Courtesy of Visit Dallas

A large portion of the visitor economy in Dallas is centered around the convention center, an economic engine generating millions of dollars in hotel-related taxes. The taxes collected and revenue made from tourism—such as the $200 produced annually from direct visitor spending—help support essential city services that maintain residents’ quality of life and improve local communities, including providing more than 5,000 full-time jobs in the downtown area.

This transformation is also designed to create new and exciting public destinations in the heart of the city, an integrated—and safe—transportation hub that brings together local transit options with improvements that connect more communities to downtown. The result will turn the convention center district into a regional catalyst for growth and a welcoming place for everyone.

Inspire Dallas—led by real estate developer Matthews Southwest—is expected to begin construction later this year, with sections of the existing convention center remaining operational throughout the build. The estimated completion of the project is mid-2028. Visit Dallas CEO Craig Davis has expressed strong support for the current timeline, and the destination marketing organization has already secured more than 30 contracted conventions for the new center, translating to almost 590,000 room nights and a remarkable $823 million in total economic impact.

Rosa Fleming, director of convention and event services for the City of Dallas, highlights that the new convention center will revolutionize Dallas’ urban landscape. The state-of-the-art facility will offer 2.5 million square feet of space, as well as a walkable entertainment district featuring new retail, hotels, restaurants, alongside additional entertainment, housing, and office space.