box with docks. Slang. A derogatory term for a convention center, specifically an uninteresting, utilitarian one.
In context . . .
"For years, industry slang for a convention center was “a box with docks.” It was blunt but apt shorthand. In recent years, though, convention center managers have been learning the lesson that hotel companies have already discovered: it is not enough to offer just a place to stay or meet."
New York Times
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