The San Diego Convention Center was part of a major downtown redevelopment campaign that began in the late 1970s. The Center sits on 11 acres of Port of San Diego-owned land along San Diego Bay, California. The port agreed to fund the entire project at a cost of $164 million with no debt service.
Construction of the 1.7 million square-foot building began in 1987 and was completed in November 1989. During its first year of operation, the Convention Center welcomed 1.1 million visitors to 354 events. In 2001, the Convention Center completed an expansion, nearly doubling the building in size to 2.6 million total square feet.