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Senate approves $1B convention center expansion

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BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has approved a bill that would allow for a $1 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Supporters of the bill that passed 31-6 on Thursday say it is necessary to keep the facility competitive with similar convention centers in other cities, and the expansion will create jobs, provide additional tax dollars and boost tourism. The bill authorizes a 1.3 million square foot expansion.

Supporters said the convention center in South Boston, which opened in 1997, isn't large enough and doesn't have enough adjoining hotel rooms to attract many large-scale national and international meetings, which are now going to other cities.

The House passed a convention center expansion bill last month that promised no new taxes.

The House and Senate will work on a compromise.

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