Nestled in the heart of historic downtown San Antonio along the banks of the world famous River Walk thrives the nucleus of our City’s convention industry. The Henry B. González Convention Center (HBGCC) plays host to more than 300 events each year with over 750,000 convention delegates from around the world.
The facility offers meeting and exhibit space within walking distance to the River Walk, historical attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels. It also meets the ever-evolving needs of the industry with innovative design and flexible indoor and outdoor space. Facility features include: 514,000 sq ft of contiguous exhibit space, 86,500 sq ft of column-free multipurpose space, over 70 meeting rooms, including divisible breakout rooms, and the largest ballroom in Texas. In addition, the complex features the Lila Cockrell Theatre, a 2,319-seat Performing Arts Theatre. Come and see for yourself why readers of Meetings South Magazine have voted the Henry B. González Convention Center the “Best Convention Center in the Industry” two years in a row.
Jan 27, 2016
San Antonio Opens Transformed Henry B. González Convention Center
San Antonio, TX (January 26, 2016) San Antonio opened the doors to the newly transformed Henry B. González Convention Center today. The $325 million expansion marks the largest capital improvement project in the City of San Antonio’s history and increases the footprint to 1.6 million square feet.
Today’s festivities were celebrated with the unveiling of “Liquid Crystal,” a public art installation by artist Jason Bruges that is located in the center’s expansive new lobby atrium. Its 3,510 LCD interactive panels create a digital fountain effect where the flow depends upon the amount of people and activity filling the atrium. It is one of three new art installations in the center, showcasing San Antonio’s diverse arts scene.
The Henry B. González Convention Center, originally built in 1968 when San Antonio hosted the World’s Fair, has welcomed numerous additions and renovations throughout the years.
The project provided a clear opportunity to further secure the convention center’s position as a top destination for conferences and events, while challenging the convention center design team to find a creative way to integrate the convention center into the surrounding downtown area and Hemisfair Park.
A new addition was built to the east, which will allow for the demolition of the original 1968 structure to the west. In place of the original structure will be an expansion of neighboring Hemisfair Park, providing enhanced opportunities for outdoor events.
The expanded center is set on the River Walk in historic downtown, placing attendees within walking distance to so much of what drives meeting attendance in San Antonio: historic sites including the Alamo, local restaurants, museums, theaters, shops and thousands of hotel rooms. Walls of windows bring in tremendous downtown views including the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas. This offers a distinct sense of place, setting the center apart as one that forges with the atmosphere beyond its borders.
Transformation at a glance:
“We are so excited to welcome everyone to San Antonio with the beautifully transformed Henry B. González Convention Center,” said Casandra Matej, Executive Director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This transformation has been truly phenomenal. Throughout the design process, we made sure to incorporate client feedback to supersede meeting needs for the next generation. The center’s architecture is indicative of San Antonio’s personality with a gorgeous limestone exterior, enhanced by public art installations. The layout is flexible and easy to navigate, all while placing attendees in the heart of one of the nation’s top travel destinations. It’s an absolute gem and we’re very excited that this allows us to grow with our meetings.”
“San Antonio has been a terrific destination for so many of our meetings,” said Susan Fischer, Strategic Account Manager for Experient. “This convention center expansion opens the door for more and larger meetings to consider San Antonio. The increased size and flexibility of exhibit space, enhanced traffic flow and having the largest ballroom in the state, definitely sets it apart. This, combined with the city’s overall appeal is a big win for San Antonio and the meetings landscape.”
“The transformation of the Henry B. González Convention Center will further establish and secure its competitive position among convention centers nationwide by providing a flexible, efficient experience that exudes the character and spirit of San Antonio and its community,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Executive Director of Convention and Sports Facilities for the City of San Antonio. “The new facility is immediately one of the finest in the U.S., incorporates innovation and technological advancements, and solidifies San Antonio’s position as one of the nation’s top convention destinations.” Sawaya added.
Apr 29, 2015
San Antonio Tops Off Convention Center Expansion Ahead of Schedule
San Antonio, TX (April 29, 2015) San Antonio recently topped off the $325million expansion of its Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center three months ahead of schedule. The $93.5 million first phase of construction added 270,000 square feet of exhibition space on the center’s eastern side.
Set for completion in February 2016, the transformation of the center is the largest capital project in the city's history. When completed, it will offer:
“As our convention center is the heart of many San Antonio meetings, it’s imperative that we offer the most flexible, innovative space possible,” said Casandra Matej, Executive Director of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The added bonus of meeting our goals in a timely manner while maximizing resources speaks volumes as to how San Antonio works together as a community.”
The creation of new meeting space on the center’s eastern side before demolishing original meeting space on the western side has allowed the center to remain operational during construction. This contributed to fiscal year 2014 being the center’s busiest in history with 327 events that welcomed more than 770,000 attendees, an increase from 655,000 patrons who attended 312 events the prior year.
Once exhibit space on the western side is demolished, neighboring Hemisfair Park will be expanded, allowing for ample outdoor meeting experiences. Open-air opportunities are enhanced by the center’s ideal River Walk location that not only provides riverside venues, but also places the center within walking distance to thousands of hotel rooms, restaurants and shops.
“San Antonio’s distinct visitor experience combined with a strong meeting infrastructure is what makes us one of the nation’s top convention destinations,” Matej said. “This project allows us to provide a top-of-the-line facility that is flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse groups - all in one of the nation’s most desirable cities.”
Learn more about San Antonio meetings at Meetings.VisitSanAntonio.com.
Wanda WilliamsTel : 210-207-608
John VliegerTel : 210-207-6780
Gloria ScherzingerTel : 210-207-5733