Capital Improvements

Overview of Tampa Convention Center

After 27 years of activity, the Tampa Convention Center has begun its largest renovation project in history: a $20 million three year Capital Improvement Plan which will result in a better customer experience, increased efficiency, and cost savings.

Please stay tuned for updates on progress of these exciting improvements!

Renovated Restrooms
Scheduled Completion: October 2018
Of the 15 large restrooms in the Convention Center, 12 have been completely upgraded. The remaining three, comprised of two restrooms located outside the exhibit halls and one location on the first floor, will be completed in October 2018.

NEW Nourish Food Cart
Recently opened in May 2018, the rotunda area now features Nourish, a choose-your-own-ingredients healthy bowl concept. This modular kiosk provides fresh offerings based upon guest preferences. With a wide selection and a focus on efficient customer service, Nourish is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

NEW Starbucks Coffee Bar
Scheduled Completion: July 2018
Take a break to grab a coffee or meet with fellow attendees at this new Coffee Bar. Enjoy freshly brewed Starbucks coffee products and snacks in a casual café-style setting. Conveniently located adjacent to Exhibit Halls, the Coffee Bar will be replacing the existing Ybor Café. This perfect spot to refuel is scheduled to open in July 2018.

NEW Big Ray’s Fish Camp Restaurant & The Sail Plaza
Scheduled Completion: March/April 2019
Prepare for an entirely new, waterfront experience at The Sail Plaza! This completely reimagined space includes the opening of Big Ray’s Fish Camp Restaurant, a local favorite for seafood in the Tampa Bay area. Joining Tampa Convention Center’s 360-degree waterfront bar, this full-service kitchen is the perfect addition to what will now be known as The Sail Plaza. The Sail Plaza offers an expanded seating area, complete with an iconic shade structure. An innovative ramp system will guide pedestrian traffic, allowing for enhanced outdoor event capabilities along the Riverwalk. Restrooms will be reconstructed in The Sail Plaza to include a family restroom and air conditioning. Work on this exciting addition is scheduled to begin Summer 2018 with an anticipated completion of March/April 2019.

NEW Datz Restaurant
Scheduled Completion: May 2019*
Since its opening in 2009, Tampa Bay locals have enjoyed Datz Restaurant. Famous for their Egg Sammies, Bits & Bites, and creative sandwiches, Datz is ready to share their award-winning eats with guests of the Tampa Convention Center! Between August 2018 and May 2019, the existing Bay Bistro will be converted to this new Datz location.

Modernization of Exhibit Hall Concession Stands
Scheduled Completion: May 2019*
Exhibit Hall concessions are being modernized to include refreshed menus while staying true to classic offerings guests crave. Updates completed between August 2018 - May 2019 will also include new signage and digital menu boards for a superior guest experience.

*Renovations for Concession Stands and Datz will be phased to minimize impact on current food and beverage service.

NEW Waterfront Meeting Rooms
Scheduled Completion: May 2020
Spanning 16,000 square feet, this two-level addition will provide 18 new meeting rooms overlooking the Hillsborough River. Room pairs will include airwalls for increased flexibility. The new waterfront rooms will be accompanied by a terrace offering expansive views and outdoor space. This project is scheduled to begin May 2019 with an expected completion of May 2020.

Renovated Meeting Rooms
Scheduled Completion: February 2021
Upon introduction of the new meeting rooms, existing meeting space will undergo updates including new carpet, paint, and upgraded lighting. Improvements are planned between May 2020 – February 2021.

NEW Large Service Elevator
The addition of a second service elevator will advance facility operations and event needs.

Green Initiatives associated with the Capital Improvements


HVAC upgrades will use fan wall and Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) technology to match airflow to demand. Upgraded , electronic control, chilled water valves will allow better control of chilled water flows, reducing power needs.New coils in Air Handlers will increase heat exchange efficiency, further reducing power costs.


Installation of new low emissivity window films on westward facing meeting rooms lower UV and IR loading, thereby reducing cooling load.


New escalators and elevators utilize VFD drives for energy conservation. Sealed gears and lack of oil drives greatly reduce petroleum lubricant use.


All new lighting for the meeting rooms, restrooms, and concourses are LED to lower energy use, maintenance, and heat generation.


All surfaces and coatings / paint are low Volatile Organic Contaminant (VOC) materials.


New restroom materials are low maintenance and are intended for use with green cleaning products.