Before there were Downtown San Diego condos and lofts there was the Convention Center. The Convention Center was the catalyst for all the residential development in Downtown San Diego. It set the foundation for all the infrastructure that would eventually support the lifestyle for the future owners of Downtown condos and lofts. The convention center would provide the original patrons of Horton Plaza, The Gaslamp, Seaport Village, and all the hotel space in Downtown. Today the San Diego Convention Center is one of the top Five grossing locations in the US. It is also one of the most popular destinations for attendees and visitors. After all, who would not want a trip to San Diego for business and a little bit of pleasure on the side?
In 2014, it is estimated that the San Diego Convention Center will host over 111 events. These events will bring just under 900k visitors and are estimated to generate $1.4 Billion in revenues for the San Diego region ($606 Million in attendee direct spending and $20.6 Million in Tax Revenue). Attendance and events are growing each year. In fact, it is estimated that 2014 will be the year that the convention attendance returns to the 2008 totals before the national economy experienced it’s challenges.
In a recent blog on the San Diego Convention center website, they posted an interesting blog comparing the top 5 grossing San Diego Conventions. Comic-Con was by far the largest contribution with an estimated 130k Attendees and $78.3 Million in direct spending. The American Association for Cancer Research, Environmental Systems Research Institute, The American Thoracic Society, and Experimental Biology rounded out the rest of the top five.