Welcome to another edition of The BCEC Newsletter. A new year, a new century and a new millennium and the MCCA is proud to be part of some of the things in Boston that will make this era and beyond special. We are moving right along with two vital projects, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the renovation of the Springfield Civic Center. Within the past few months, the BCEC has met several key milestones, including the unveiling of schematic design and the conclusion of design development. This in essence means that the interior and exterior designs for the facility are complete. Several groups have been instrumental to this process, including our own Design Advisory Group, consisting of industry experts and facility users. Groundbreaking for the BCEC is scheduled for May and contracts for foundations and steel frame will also be awarded in May. The first steel for the project will be erected this November. The Springfield Civic Center will soon be the center of a million-dollar renovation. This will be the first phase of the project and the potential second phase of the project will be an expansion into a convention center. Springfield is a prime location in Western Massachusetts for meetings and conventions that has been underutilized due to lack of space. An RFP for design services has gone out for the project and we look forward to obtaining a firm and moving ahead with this significant project. The Hynes Convention Center had a record-breaking year in 1999 in number of shows and number of attendees. This fact reinforces that Boston is a top destination for meeting planners and delegates alike. We look forward to another record-breaking year in 2000. I hope you find this newsletter informative and I thank you for letting us update you on all of the happenings here at the MCCA.

Francis X. Joyce Executive Director

MCCA Selected to be Part of Global Conference Alliance

The International Convention Centers General Assembly (ICCA) convened last November to discuss and develop a new global congress marketing cooperation with each of the seven continents. The intent of this Alliance is three fold – to exchange information on marketing and sales activities as well as to exchange leads of groups that have come to a partner center or scheduled to come. This Alliance will enhance each center’s relationships with international clients and convention centers. The ICCA extended the invitation to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) to represent North America in this Alliance. “The MCCA is honored to be a part of this prestigious and valuable program. We look forward to forging strong partnerships with each Alliance member,” stated MCCA Executive Director, Francis X. Joyce

Global Hotel Operator, Starwood and Local Developer, Carpenter Capture Headquarter Hotel

On November 22, 1999 the MCCA Board of Directors selected Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc and Carpenter & Company, Inc. as a joint venture to develop and operate the headquarter hotel at Boston’s new convention center — the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The competition was fierce when it was narrowed down to three finalists – Marriott International, Inc., Hilton Hotels Corporation and Starwood. The 1,120-room hotel will carry the Sheraton name, the largest brand of the Starwood collection. The Development Agreement between the MCCA and Starwood/Carpenter was signed on February 2, 2000.

Starwood is one of the world’s largest hotel operating companies, with upscale properties spanning the globe. They operate and/or franchise over 700 properties in 72 countries including upscale properties, Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis and Luxury Collection. Starwood also happens to be the world’s largest owner/operator of convention hotels. The Sheraton and Westin brands feature over 30 convention hotels of over 800 rooms in North America, including properties in top-tiered cities such as Boston, Chicago, San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Toronto and Orlando.

Starwood has strong ties to Massachusetts. The first Sheraton hotel was built in Springfield and there are 19 Starwood properties throughout the state. There are also two Starwood properties, the Sheraton and the Westin, that are part of the Boston Convention Complex, which is the world’s largest enclosed convention complex and includes the Hynes Convention Center.

Carpenter & Company, who has been in business since 1898, is a local developer who has numerous successful developments throughout Boston and New England. The firm has extensive experience with real estate development, ownership and management. Among the projects the firm has worked on in Boston are Charles Square, The Charles Hotel, the Hyatt Regency and the Hilton Logan Airport. The firm was also recently selected to develop a hotel on City Hall Plaza in Boston. “We are tremendously pleased to have Starwood/Carpenter on board to develop and operate the headquarter hotel for the BCEC,” commented MCCA Executive Director, Fran Joyce. “Both companies are prominent in their fields and we look forward to working with them.

“With vast experience in the hotel operator and development industry, the team of Starwood and Carpenter will no doubt build a first-rate hotel that will complete the new convention package that Boston will offer in late 2003.

Boston has long been rated as a top destination among convention delegates. With the construction of the new convention center and headquarter hotel, Boston will be able to host the larger meetings and conventions that have been waiting to come to “America’s Walking City”.

Springfield Civic Center Moves One Step Closer to Million-Dollar Renovation

The Springfield Civic Center opened its doors on September 22, 1972, as Hollywood legend, Bob Hope, entertained a packed house. Time has indeed passed, however, the desire of the Center and Springfield have not. Over the past three decades, the Center has continued to host crowd drawing shows such as the NBA Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice, just to name a few. The Center is also home to the Springfield Falcons American Hockey League team.

As with any facility, time and use has taken a toll, so the Center will soon undergo a million-dollar renovation. This extensive renovation will modernize the facility and make it ADA compliant. The renovation will position the Center as a more attractive option to shows wishing to come to Western Massachusetts. Once the renovations are complete, the Center will potentially undergo an expansion into a convention facility. Springfield is a dynamic city in Western Massachusetts that has the demand for meetings and conventions, but does not have sufficient space. Expanding the Center into a convention center will provide space for those desiring Western Massachusetts and will allow Springfield to flourish as a meetings destination. Recognizing the importance of its current clientele, the Center will remain open during the renovation and will work around the shows in the building.

To ensure that the process is done correctly, the MCCA developed the Designer Selection Panel. This Panel is comprised of local architects, engineers, general contractors, a public appointee and members of the MCCA staff. This Panel has met several times to discuss, review and develop all that is required to renovate the Center. “Each member of this Panel was chosen based on recommendations from their respective industry associations or societies. We are confident that we have an outstanding group of individuals that will guide us every step of the way on this important project,” stated MCCA Executive Director, Fran Joyce.

The Request for Proposals for design services for the arena rehabilitation and potential convention center expansion has been distributed. Shortly thereafter a briefing session was held for all interested firms. Over 25 firms attended the session, proving that there is quite an interest in this project. The proposals are due mid-May and the finalists will be chosen at the end of May. Once the finalists have been selected, interviews will be conducted by the Designer Selection Panel. The Panel will review the prospective designers and then present their recommendations to the MCCA Board at the end of June. Once the designer has been selected, they will begin working on preliminary schematic designs. Renovation construction is expected to commence in late Spring 2001, with completion slated for late Summer 2002.

The Civic Center currently features a 65,000 square foot 10,000-seat arena, a 40,000 square-foot exhibit hall, a 7,000 square foot banquet hall and five meeting rooms. With the renovation and potential expansion, the Springfield Civic Center will be a state-of-the-art premier facility in Western Massachusetts for events of all types.

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Achieves Another Major Milestone with Groundbreaking

On May 24, Gloria Cordes Larson, Chairman for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), Governor A. Paul Cellucci and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, as well as other elected city and state officials, marked another important step in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) project by breaking ground for the highly anticipated 1.7 million square foot facility. The groundbreaking represented the beginning of construction on the 60-acre site located in the heart of the South Boston Waterfront. Construction will take approximately 42 months, with completion slated for late 2003.

The BCEC will provide 600,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space on one level, a 50,000 square foot ballroom with picturesque views of the city skyline and Boston Harbor, a 20,000 square foot junior ballroom and 170,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes 80 meeting rooms.

The groundbreaking was the perfect opportunity for Gloria Cordes Larson to announce that two esteemed groups — the International Boston Seafood Show (IBSS) and the American Library Association (ALA) — have already formally designated the BCEC as the facility for their upcoming shows. The IBSS will begin holding its annual event at the BCEC in March 2004 and the ALA has booked for 2010. With commitments from sought after groups like these, it shows that the BCEC is already on its way to becoming a major player in the convention industry.