Massachusetts Governor 'Pauses' Boston Convention Center Expansion
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker today announced he is "pausing" the $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, at the same time replacing seven of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority's 13 board members.
In a statement, the governor said, "We are pausing the expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in order for the new members of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to conduct a thoughtful analysis and determine how these resources can best benefit our economy, job creation and the development of Boston's Seaport District. The environment has changed greatly in the five years since this proposal was first introduced, and the Seaport district has experienced an economic boom. Plunging ahead now, when the data on the expansion's feasibility is mixed, combined with the change of leadership at the MCCA, would be irresponsible given the vast amounts of taxpayer dollars necessary to not only build but operate the expanded facility in the face of pressing financial needs outside of the booming Seaport District."
The MCCA's executive director, James Rooney, who begins a new job as head of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in July, told the Boston Globe that delaying the expansion could drive up the project's debt and construction costs. Rooney said he remains hopeful that the new board members will come to the same conclusion as their predecessors by re-approving the expansion.