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Port Will Chip In For Convention Center Expansion

Aired 11/30/11 on KPBS News.

The push is on to get the Convention Center expansion off the ground. The City of San Diego yesterday asked the Port of San Diego to kick in some money to make it happen.

— Three million dollars a year for 20 years, that’s how much San Diego wants the Port to contribute toward the $550 million convention center expansion. And the Port commissioners conditionally agreed to provide the money. A formal agreement still has to be worked out. But Port Chairman Scott Peters said it’s a good deal.

An artist's rendering illustrates the plans for expanding the Convention Cent...
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Above: An artist's rendering illustrates the plans for expanding the Convention Center, including a five-acre rooftop park.

“This is a money making thing for the Port,” he said. “Even at $3 million and $3.5 million. If we make $500,00 a year, that’s a pretty good return, especially in today’s market. So this is something we would do to provide a return to the Port.”

Representatives from several other Port cities said they support the expansion. However, they pointed out the Port is comprised of five cities and all of their needs must be considered, not just San Diego’s.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | November 30, 2011 at 1:32 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

At yesterday's meeting, in response to a question from one of the board members, port staff admitted that while they have seen and done several studies on how much additional revenue the port might make if this project goes forward, staff HAS NEVER DONE A STUDY TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH REVENUE THE PORT ACTUALLY MAKES FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER'S CURRENT OPERATIONS! I found that admission astounding. If the Port doesn't even know how much revenue it makes now due to convention center operations, if won't have a baseline to see if it makes any more revenue if and when the expansion is completed. The port needs to direct staff to do a study now just to find out if the port is currently subsidizing convention center operations, instead of making money off them.

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