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$30 Million Capital Improvement Plan Underway at the Tampa Convention Center

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Big renovations are coming to the Tampa Convention Center, with exciting new additions for guests to enjoy!

After 27 years of operation, the Tampa Convention Center is undergoing its largest renovation project to date—a $30 million Capital Improvement Plan.

Some of the key features include new waterfront meeting rooms, a complete redesign/upgrade of the convention center restrooms, the addition of new local restaurants (both inside the building, and outside near The Sail), and more.

Scheduled to take place over a three-year period, many of these upgrades are already complete, with even more coming in the next few months. In fact, in September, builders are expected to break ground near The Sail for the construction of Big Ray’s Fish Camp and The Sail Plaza.

All of these upgrades will enhance visitor experience with state-of-the-art amenities and a touch of local flavor, helping attract even more convention tourism to the region.

Read on to learn more about these improvements and to get an idea of what’s to come!

NEW Nourish Food Cart


Now open in the rotunda area, Nourish offers healthy food options with a build-you-own-bowl style concept. Located on the first floor in a modular kiosk, Nourish is dedicated to serving holistic, nutritional, and delicious meals to visitors.

NEW Starbucks Coffee Bar


Need a mid-conference pick-me-up? Our NEW Coffee Bar offers the perfect place to take a conference break, meet with colleagues, and refuel in a relaxed atmosphere. Proudly serving Starbucks drinks and snacks, the Coffee Bar is now open on the 3rd floor next to the exhibit halls.

Renovated Restrooms

Scheduled for Completion October 2018

After 27 years of operation, we are proud to announce that nearly all of our restrooms have been upgraded with a modern design and energy-efficient amenities. 12 of the 15 restrooms at the Tampa Convention Center are already open with the new modern design, with the other three expected to open October 2018.

Harpoon Harry's 

Coming November 2018

With construction already well underway, Harpoon Harry's Crab Shack will transform what was once 18,000sqft of storage space, into a 500-seat family-friendly restaurant. Serving delicious seafood dishes and a relaxed atmosphere, Harpoon Harry's will feature two levels, roll up windows, a sushi bar, and a main bar stylized around a 1926 truck. For more information about this project, read our blog post here.

NEW Big Ray’s Fish Camp Restaurants & The Sail Plaza

Coming March/April 2019

Get ready to experience the waterfront like never before! Scheduled for completion in March/April 2019, The Sail Plaza will offer a reimagined space for visitors and locals alike to kick back, grab a bite to eat/drink, and enjoy the waterfront views.

Enhancing the current space around The Sail, this new area will feature expanded seating, shade structures, upgraded/expanded restrooms (including a family restroom and air condition), and the addition of Big Ray’s Fish Camp.

This will be the second location for the highly popular local seafood restaurant, which has become a favorite for foodies across Tampa Bay. Operating a full-service kitchen alongside our 360-degree bar, Big Ray’s Fish Camp will fit perfectly with the waterfront atmosphere of The Sail, truly capturing the essence of a waterfront oasis.

In addition, new ramps along the Tampa Riverwalk will make the area more accessible and bike-friendly. 

The Sail will be open during the construction of Big Ray’s Fish Camp and The Sail Plaza. Construction is scheduled to begin September 2018, with an anticipated completion of March/April 2019.

NEW Datz Restaurant

Coming May 2019

Foodies rejoice! Another Tampa favorite is moving into the Tampa Convention Center, offering visitors a taste of local flavor. Since opening in 2009, Datz has become a household name, charting foodie lists as one of the best places to eat in all of Tampa Bay. Famous for their Egg Sammies, creative sandwiches, and Bits & Bites, Datz will soon serve their local favorites to convention goers by transforming the existing Bay Bistro into their new location.

NEW Waterfront Meeting Rooms

Coming May 2020

Conference meetings are always better with a view—and starting in May 2020, convention goers will have access to 18 NEW meeting rooms overlooking the water. Spanning 16,000sqft and 2 stories, these new waterfront meeting rooms will feature a terrace with expansive views and outdoor space. Existing meeting rooms will also be updated with new carpet, paint, and upgraded lighting, with expected completion between May 2020 – February 2021.

Each of these improvements will serve as major assets to the Tampa Convention Center, allowing it to stand out as one of the leading conference facilities in the South East. 

For more information on the Capital Improvement Plan, click here