Moscone Center half billion dollar makeover, phase 2 complete

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee cut the ribbon on the completion of the half billion dollar plus Phase 2 of the newly refurbished and greatly expanded Moscone Center on Tuesday.

The project makes the new Moscone Center far more competitive with other major convention cities worldwide, with San Francisco a bonus for conventioneers. And, make no mistake, many conventioneers come back to the Bay Area for vacations making Moscone a major selling point for the region.

"A great source of revenue for the city because it is the number one economic driver also for the city as a whole for years to come." said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. "Which is not only gonna increase capacity so we can host these conventions, it's also gonna increase capacities of our hotels, in our restaurants, in our small businesses," added SF Supervisor London Breed. "That will help us fund health care services, education, child care and some of the things that we believe that we should be providing to the citizens of San Francisco," said SF Supervisor Jane Kim.

The South Hall lobby has been completely redone, but, what's been built upstairs is what really grew the facility. On the second floor, a massive new, high-tech ballroom that can be walled off in many ways to accommodate any size event. On the third floor, an equally massive conference and display hall that can also be sub-divided to accommodate one or many events.

The improvements have continued ever since the facility first opened it's doors 31 years ago.

"It was never the idea of stopping. You needed the size and the space and the convenience and that's what this is all about and you're gonna continue to see it," said former SF Mayor Willie Brown.

Next door, a huge new foundation is being equipped to house another massive conference and display hall, that will be open in abut 18 months. From that new facility, a bridge will connect with north hall across the street. That will make the expanded center 1.5 million square feet.

Actual conventions start here beginning Saturday, but most of us will be able to see the Convention Center in its newly expanded form during the auto show in November.