Why isn’t the Boston Marathon expo at the Hynes Convention Center this year?

The 2018 Boston Marathon expo will be a bit farther from the finish line.

Normally held at the Hynes Convention Center, the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo will be held instead this year at the Seaport World Trade Center. The annual pre-race expo is open to the public and draws more than 100,000 attendees, including about 30,000 marathon entrants who will pick up their bibs, Friday, April 13, to Sunday, April 15.

But why the change of location?

Nate Little, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which oversees the Hynes, said that another client had simply pre-booked the convention center.

Indeed, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association is holding their annual meeting this year in Boston — specifically at the Hynes. The 2,000-person, Wednesday to Saturday event means the marathon expo will happen two miles away in the Seaport.
John Hancock, the expo’s sponsor, will be providing shuttle service on a continual loop from the Back Bay to the Seaport.

“We enjoy having our expo in Boston’s Back Bay, but are excited to showcase the Seaport District to our runners,” a Boston Athletic Association official said Wednesday, noting that the well-known event had also been held at the harbor-side conference center in 2006 and 2012.

BAA CEO Tom Grik told Runner’s World last September that the organization prefers holding the expo at the Hynes for its convenience and for the benefit of local businesses, but noted that they don’t have “any special preference in obtaining its use.” Grik said the booming Seaport District does however offer some advantages, including lots of hotels, shops, and restaurants.

“If the expo is not going to be in the Back Bay where we can keep the experience compact, then the Seaport area has a great deal to offer,” he said.

Little said Wednesday that the BAA has a hold on the Hynes to host the expo next year.

Hours and address of the 2018 marathon expo below:

200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA 02210

Friday, April 13th (11 a.m.-6 p.m.)

Saturday, April 14th (9 a.m.-7 p.m.)