SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Governor Brian Kemp set aside $70 million in the state budget to expand the Savannah Convention Center after its approval in June.
“A lot of our current customers their events are growing and there’s not enough room so if we don’t expand they’ll have to go to another city,” Convention Center General Manager, Sherrie Spinks said.
Spinks said the expansion makes Savannah more competitive for taking on new and larger conventions. An additional 100,000 square-foot exhibit hall is in the plans with a 40,000 square-foot ballroom, 15 new meeting rooms, and 900 additional parking spaces.
“An expansion was actually contemplated when the original building was built so it was always planned we would expand into the north parking lot and double the size of the building,” Spinks said.
Last month, the Convention Center was toured by the Republican National Committee as a potential venue for the Republican National Convention. News 3 asked Spinks if the expansion project would have been done years ago what the outcome would have been.
“I don’t know the scope of what they were looking at to be held here in Savannah so we might have been able to hold it but they went to Jacksonville instead,” Spinks said.
This expansion is expected to bring in new jobs and boost the economy. Visit Savannah President Joe Marinelli said this is exactly what Savannah needs during this pandemic.
“We’ve put a presentation together that indicates to him the popularity of the destination and the demand for larger space and it was convincing enough that he supported it,” Marinelli said.
The expansion is expected to be completed in 2023.