The Savannah-Georgia Convention Center Authority is an instrumentality of the state of Georgia created as a House Bill of the 2018/2019 Sessions of Georgia General Assembly. House Bill 525 authorizes such authority to provide for legislative findings; to provide for definitions; to provide for its membership, manner of appointment, terms of office, and powers and duties; to provide for exemption from taxation; to provide for venue; to provide for disposition of property; to exempt its property from levy and sale; to transfer certain assets and liabilities; to repeal certain laws; to provide for related matters; to provide for effective dates; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes
The Authority shall consist of the following membership: Six members shall be appointed by the Governor, each of whom shall have a vote; Three members shall be appointed by the Chatham County delegation of the General Assembly, each of whom shall have a vote; The president of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, who shall serve ex officio and shall have a vote; and 19 HB 525/AP H. B. 525 – 3 – The president of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, who shall 63 serve ex officio and shall have a vote. Except for the ex officio members, the terms of all members shall be for three years. The initial members of the authority shall be appointed not later than June 1, 2019, and shall take office on July 1, 2019. The terms of office of the members of the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority created by Georgia Laws 1995.
In accordance with the above Act the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center (SITCC) was built to support the goals of the Authority to enhance the economic and tourism environment for Savannah, Chatham County and the state of Georgia. Opening for operations in June 2000, one of the initial international events was the utilization of the SITCC as the media center for the G-8 Summit. Since then the center has hosted a myriad of events encompassing major convention conferences, trade shows, meetings and athletic events. The facility was initially managed by SMG, a worldwide entertainment and convention venue management company under contract with the Authority. In April 2014 the Authority contracted with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to assume management of the facility. By October of 2018 the Center decided to take a more clear title, Savannah Convention Center along with an updated logo. Governor Brian Kemp then signed House Bill 525 into law on Sunday, April 26th at the Savannah Convention Center officially changing the center’s name and the board make-up.
The Atlanta-based Georgia World Congress Center Authority owns and operates the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, and has oversight of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which combine to form the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world.