San Diego Convention Center
The convention center on the waterfront in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Convention Center announced Thursday that it will hold a series of events later this year to give residents a behind-the-scenes look at how it operates.

The convention center has celebrated its 30th anniversary all year long and hopes to help residents understand the unseen work to keep the 2 million-square-foot facility running year-round. In addition to the center’s 427 full- and part-time employees, workers from companies like FedEx Business and food and beverage partner Centerplate also share the building.

Convention center officials estimate the facility has generated more than $22 billion in regional impact since opening in 1989 as well as $555.7 million in tax revenue and $13 billion in direct spending by convention center attendees. The facility has held more than 5,800 events since it opened.

“The last 30 years have had so much change in San Diego,” said San Diego Convention Board Chair Xema Jacobson. “Our Convention Center has been a catalyst for tremendous growth in our tourism industry.”

During the 2018 fiscal year, convention center officials estimate the facility donated 72 tons of untouched food to the San Diego Rescue Mission, 3,300 chairs to nonprofits around Southern California and almost 1,300 backpacks to six elementary schools in underserved areas of the city.

California Meetings and Events Magazine also named the convention center the Best Conference/Convention Center Over 100,000 Square Feet in 2018 and a runner up in the category this year.

The San Diego Convention Center will continue to celebrate its 30th anniversary and its employees, partners and customers throughout the year.

“It is a landmark year for San Diego, with many milestones reached across our destination. We’re celebrating 30 years as Your San Diego Convention Center,” San Diego Convention Center President and CEO Clifford Rippetoe said. “We are honoring our team, our customers and our community for 30 years of success.”

— City News Service