San Francisco city officials announced a plan Friday to invest $4.6 million over two years to reduce rental costs at the Moscone Center in an effort to bring conventions back to the city.
Conventions and other large events are vital to the city’s $10 billion tourism industry, according to San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office.
With large events on hold over the last 15 months, local officials hope the multi-million-dollar subsidization effort will make the city more attractive as the convention industry ramps back up.
City officials have already confirmed that Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce convention will be held in the city in September.
“Tourism and convention dollars help pay for important city services and allow us to take care of our most vulnerable residents,” Breed said in a statement. “We’re making it even easier for organizers to host their next event in San Francisco, because bringing these activities will bring life and energy back to our downtown area and help our entire city recover.”
The funding is part of Breed’s proposed budget for the city, which she plans to fully unveil Tuesday.
The budget would allocate $2.6 million to reduce rental costs at the Moscone Center during fiscal year 2021-2022 and $2 million during FY 2022-2023. The funds would be available late this summer, should city officials include the proposal in the final approved budget.
The city hosted more than 1,600 conventions and other large events in 2019 but has hosted just 29 such events since April of last year, according to city officials.
Current estimates based on how many conventions are considering San Francisco as a host city would add as many as 150,000 hotel room nights in the city, generating nearly $173 million in direct spending at various events and nearly $5 million in hotel tax revenue.
“Group convention business at Moscone Center fuels our economy, provides much needed tax revenues to the city and good jobs,” San Francisco Travel Association President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro said. “The convention market is highly competitive, and this Moscone Convention funding is essential in helping us attract group business and remain relevant in the aggressive convention market.”