The Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau says the city's convention center is near, or at the bottom, for available meeting space compared to 17 other west coast cities. The bureau would like to increase the available space from 133,000 to 225,000 square feet.
SCVB President and CEO Steve Hammond says the city should also connect the Convention Center to the Community Center Theater while also re-connecting two areas of the city.
"All of the meeting rooms that were built on the theater side of K Street in the last expansion 20 years ago would be torn down to open up K Street once again, connecting downtown with midtown, very pedestrian-friendly, very cycle-friendly," he says.
Hammond says $80 million would provide the theater with new acoustics, backstage seating, bathrooms and access for the disabled.
"We've had the sound people and the structural people, the engineers and they've all come in and said that the bones of this theater are fantastic," he says. "And clearly with the right investment into the building, that when it's all said and done, people will think and feel like they're in a brand-new building."
Hammond says renovation would cost one-half to one-third the expense of building a new theater.
"There's no question in our mind that the theater being renovated could give this community everything that they want in terms of a new iconic theater," he says.
The city uses $10 million in room tax revenues annually to pay off the bonds that were issued to pay for the previous convention center expansion.
That money would be available when the bonds are paid off in 2021.
City Manager John Shirey is expected to make his recommendations to the city council next month.
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