San Diego Business Journal

Convention Center Operator Forecasts $1.4 Billion Regional Impact for 2014

By Lou Hirsh Thursday, January 2, 2014
Photo courtesy of Convention Center Corp.

Photo courtesy of Convention Center Corp.

The San Diego Convention Center is expected to host at least 111 events in 2014, generating $1.4 billion in regional economic impact, according to a recently issued annual forecast by center operators.

San Diego Convention Center Corp. officials said the impact will include $606.7 million in direct attendee spending and tax revenues nearing $20.6 million. Gatherings scheduled for 2014 include 70 “primary events” expected to attract more than a half-million out-of-town attendees.

The total expected 2014 attendance of 858,115 will likely go higher as more events are booked at the center. That performance would be the center’s highest since 2008, when 951,618 attended events there.

Fifteen medical meetings are forecast to bring more than 121,000 people to the center, generating $425.9 million in regional impact. Major medical conventions slated for 2014 include the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Thoracic Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

City and port district officials are anticipating an early 2015 ground-breaking for a planned $520 million expansion of the convention center, provided legal challenges are surmounted.

San Diego Convention Center Corp. is a nonprofit public benefit corporation created by the city of San Diego to manage and operate the 2.6 million-square-foot downtown waterfront facility.