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Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

Convention Center Hires GM

TOURISM: Paul Turner First to Hold Position in Decades

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) on Sept. 19 named Paul Turner as the organization’s general manager.

Paul Turner
General Manager
San Diego Convention Center

Turner, a Certified Venue Executive, will oversee event management, venue operations, public safety and guest services for the San Diego Convention Center, a 2.6-million-square-foot waterfront facility downtown. His first day will be Oct. 2. He will be the Convention Center’s first GM in decades.

“We didn’t have someone in a traditional GM role because we have a different organizational structure than most of our convention center peers,” said SDCCC President and CEO Rip Rippetoe.

Rippetoe, the SDCCC’s leader since 2016, said he and COO Corey Albright have managed the responsibilities typically handled by a GM.

“But when looking at the next few years of event activity, we recognized we needed to add to our leadership team to operate as smoothly as possible and continue to meet the high expectations of our clients,” Rippetoe said.

Rip Rippetoe
President & CEO
San Diego Convention Center Corporation

Based on its calendar and the high attendance at recent conventions here, Rippetoe said the Convention Center expects to have record-breaking years ahead.

“2024 and 2025 are filled with major association events and corporate activity,” he said. “That means more economic impact than ever and more taxes going to our city to fund core community services.”

Wealth of Experience

SDCCC conducted a national search for candidates before hiring Turner, Rippetoe said.

“In our industry, he’s known as one of the top go-to leaders for questions related to public safety and guest experience. We’re so happy he’ll be part of team San Diego,” he added.

Turner brings a wealth of experience with him, most recently from serving as vice president of venue management and entertainment operations for Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas. has also held leadership positions with the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Portland Trail Blazers. “(This is) an opportunity to work with an amazing team at an award-winning venue,” Turner said. “I look forward to sharing my expertise and passion for building great operations that benefit our clients, guests, business partners and the greater community.”


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