Sacramento — with its small-city charms like a laid-back atmosphere and farm-to-fork culture — is experiencing a renaissance. Already one of the most diverse cities in the United States, it’s becoming more accessible and more walkable and is completely revamping its event offerings for large groups. In 2020, for instance, the newly renamed SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in Sacramento will reopen following a major expansion. With the updated center, along with the upgraded Downtown Commons (DOCO), there will be more meeting spaces for organizers to choose from when hosting an event in the California city.
Following the upgrades to the convention center (work began in August), the venue will feature an additional 100,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing the total to 242,000 square feet, including an extended exhibit hall (for a total of 160,000 square feet of exhibit space), a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, and a 15,300-square-foot outdoor plaza. In addition to the convention center, the Sacramento Convention Center Complex includes the 3,850-seat Memorial Auditorium and the 2,400-seat Community Center Theater, which is also undergoing a renovation. Once complete, the Community Center Theater will feature upgraded finishes, additional restrooms and concession areas, as well as improved accessibility and an expanded lobby.
With more than 300 restaurants nearby and 2,000 hotel rooms within walking distance, the convention center sits in the center of an easily accessible, vibrant downtown area. Downtown Sacramento, aka The Grid, features some of the city’s best restaurants, like Cafeteria 15L, offering twists on traditional American dishes, and Bacon & Butter, a farm-to-fork cafe. For post-conference drinks, there are two new breweries downtown: Ruhstaller Beer and Bike Dog Broadway Taproom. Attendees also can explore DOCO, just six blocks from the convention center and home to entertainment and shopping options. Punch Bowl Social hosts networking events, and Sauced BBQ & Spirits offers Southern fare and live music. DOCO is also home to the new boutique Kimpton Sawyer Hotel.
With the newly expanded convention center, Sacramento’s downtown area will be more equipped to host large groups. The city hopes the conference hub will bring in a new crop of visitors.
“Great cities have public venues that they can be proud of,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told The Sacramento Bee. “Great cities have public venues that are genuine destinations.”