Spokane Convention Center Development Timeline

A chronological look at the Spokane Convention Center Development
from 1975 to present

  • 1975

    Expo 74's former Washington State Pavilion becomes Spokane's first municipal Convention Center
  • 1989

    Washington State International Trade Center, a conferencing facility, opens and is the first expansion of the Spokane Convention Center.
  • February 2001

    Facilities 2000 Working Group issues final report and recommends:
    1. Taking advantage of the State Sales tax rebate and expand the Spokane Convention Center
    2. Expanding to the east and build as much as can be built for $72 million
    3. Funding two additional projects – the Fair and Expo Center Grandstand and Centerplace
    4. The PFD should own and operate the existing Performing Arts Center and the Spokane Convention Center
    5. County-wide vote
  • May 2002

    County-wide vote authorizes transfer of facilities to PFD and extends 1/10 cent sales tax and 2% room tax that are paying for Arena. Resulting funding provide $77 million for Convention Center Expansion, $12 million for improvements at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, and $7 million for development of Centerplace at Mirabeau in the City of Spokane Valley.
  • July 2003

    District sells $77 million in bonds to improve and expand the Spokane Convention Center.
  • September 2003

    City of Spokane transfers the Performing Arts Center and the Convention Center to the PFD
  • July 2004

    Construction starts on the new Exhibit Hall and is completed in 2006. Escalating material costs and build to the budget approach cause the reduction in the size of the Exhibit Hall and eliminates the meeting rooms. Remodeling of the original Convention Center is completed in 2007.
  • June 2006

    Research on south block options leading to a public meeting to request input into a future development of the Convention Center and a parking garage on the south block.
  • September 2008

    C. H. Johnson Study of Economic & Fiscal Impacts post–expansion Analysis
  • March 2009

    Vision 2020 report issued:
    1. The Trend in North American Convention Center's is to expand every ten years – needed for competitive success
    2. New space must be balanced with hotel inventory
    3. Current layout is adversely affecting sales
    4. Assemble the south block for future Convention Center expansion.
    5. Convention Center should be expanded in phases over a number of years based on market and hotel factors
    6. First phase is building the surface lot on the south block (completed in 2009) and adding exhibit space and meeting rooms to the Exhibit Hall (Convention Center Completion project)
  • July 2009

    Customer Advisory Board comments/recommendations verify need for meeting space adjacent to Exhibit Halls
  • January 2010

    Shenanigans site purchase completed
  • October 2010

    EWU Economic Impact Study of District facilities
    1. The Report was prepared by EWU's Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis based on intercept surveys carried out by Strategic Research Associates over 12 months ending in January 2010.
    2. Economic Impact of District events was $173M for the study period resulting in employment of 2,300 people.
    3. Total State and local taxes generated were $6.4M with $3.1M going directly to the State of Washington. (The State sales tax rebate was $2.3M for the same period – a 25% return)
  • November 2010

    Stakeholder meetings with Convention Center users, river and trail advocates and regulators to receive input on completing the Convention Center Exhibit Hall by expanding to the north (Shenanigans site)
  • February 2011

    Spokane Convention Center Completion Study final report issued.
    1. Complete the Convention Center Exhibit Hall by adding 25,000 sf of meeting space, 20,000 sf of exhibit space, public space, circulation and back of house on the Shenanigans site.
    2. Improvements to open space along the river, stronger connection to the river and the centennial trail, boat launch, public space and informal meeting space.
  • Fall/Winter 2011/12

    District Public Outreach/Education regarding completing the Convention Center
  • April 2012

    County wide vote
  • May 2013

    Bonds sold to finance CC Completion/Expansion, improve the riverbank and Centennial Trail adjacent to the PAC and CC, and add seats to the Arena.
  • September 2013

    Construction begins.
    All Arena seats replaced and seats added.
  • December 2014

    Expansion of the CC scheduled for completion.