LA Convention Center Expansion Approved Ahead of 2028 Olympics

Aerial view of Los Angeles Convention Center with the city skyline and mountains in the background

Skift Take

Los Angeles is now on track to unveil a major convention center expansion, just in time for the LA28 Games.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) Expansion and Modernization Project. Construction is planned to start in spring 2025 and be completed before the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games start.

The City of Los Angeles owns the LACC, which is managed by ASM Global. The venue hosts almost 200 meetings and events and attracts 2 million visitors annually.

Expansion Details

The expansion includes adding 190,000 square feet to connect the South and West Exhibit Halls, creating one contiguous hall. It will also add 55,000 square feet of new meeting room space and 95,000 square feet of multipurpose space. The plan also features a redesign of Gilbert Lindsay Plaza, introducing public open space and an outdoor event venue.

Benefits to the Destination

The L.A. City Council projects that the expansion will create 7,445 jobs during construction and 2,147 ongoing jobs. Once concluded, projections point to the expansion generating $165 million in additional revenue from the 50,000 additional attendee days annually, equating to an increase of $30 million ($570 million over 30 years) to the city’s general fund tax revenue.

In a joint statement from the Los Angeles City Tourism Department, the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, the city acknowledges its current competitive disadvantage. “Los Angeles has been at a competitive disadvantage in attracting large, citywide conventions due to the lack of contiguous space, especially as competitors have completed or are in the process of completing major expansions.”

Public-Private Partnership Motel

The Council has selected a public-private partnership model, also referred to as P3, which incorporates designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining in one model. This model involves contracting with a joint venture of AEG and The Plenary Group.

The P3 model was selected over a “construction manager at risk” model, which would have been financed entirely by the City of Los Angeles through city-issued long-term debt. The rejected model would have delayed development by six months, making using the LACC during the LA28 Games impossible. However, operating costs were projected to be approximately $5 million less annually.

In October, LA Tourism formed a unique partnership with AEG, a sister company to ASM Global. The city recently secured $709.9 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements in preparation for the LA28 Games.

Photo credit: Los Angeles Convention Center / Los Angeles Convention Center