Celebrating 25 Years of Success

Opening Day November 24, 1989

Welcome from the CEO

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation’s President & CEO Carol Wallace welcomes you to our FY15 interactive annual report.

Watch this brief video to get started!

Since opening in 1989, the Convention Center has generated:

Regional Impact
$0 billion
Tax Revenues
$0 million
Direct Attendee Spending
$0 billion
Hotel Room Nights
0 million
0 million

6 Ways We Fulfill Our Mission


Maximizing positive economic impact, creating region-wide jobs and expanding business opportunities for the benefit of business stakeholders and the local community;


Generating event-driven tax revenue from out-of-town attendees to fund essential city services that enhance the quality of life for all San Diegans;


Serving as the region's premier gathering place and hosting important community events;


Maintaining high ethical standards, being fiscally sound and giving back to the community;


Leading the industry in environmental and social responsibility by operating the building in an ecologically sound manner and contributing excess food, as well as select event materials, to local non-profit and charitable organizations;


Providing our clients and guests with outstanding service, consistently exceeding expectations, and in a manner that secures future business and economic benefits for the destination.

25th Anniversary Timeline

A major downtown redevelopment campaign in the late 1970s ultimately led to the siting of the Convention Center on 11 acres of Port of San Diego-owned land along San Diego Bay. City voters approved a proposal to build the waterfront convention center in November 1983. The Port agreed to fund the entire project at a cost of $165 million with no debt service. The City Council then created the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, which was incorporated in October 1984, to manage, market and operate the facility.

25th Anniversary Video Playlist

What was it like to build the convention center? What was it like to be here on opening day?

Listen to the stories of the employees who helped make the facility into the success it is today.

"The San Diego Convention Center saw record revenues from operations in 2015. As a non-profit, our revenues decrease taxpayer burden in paying capital and infrastructure projects as well as maintenance."
-Gil Cabrera, SDCCC Board Member & Chair of Budget Committee

Revenue is calculated by adding the totals of:

Building Rent

Food & Beverage

Ancillary Services

(advertising, audio-visual,
telecommunications, in-house
cleaning and utility services)

Revenue: Food & Beverage Commissions

With an annual operating budget of just over $32 million, food and beverage revenues accounted for our single largest revenue source, setting an all-time record in FY15 of $10.5 million.

2006 Food & Beverage Revenue: $7,664,000 2007 Food & Beverage Revenue 2008 Food & Beverage Revenue 2009 Food & Beverage Revenue 2010 Food & Beverage Revenue 2011 Food & Beverage Revenue 2012 Food & Beverage Revenue 2013 Food & Beverage Revenue 2014 Food & Beverage Revenue 2015 Food & Beverage Revenue

*Does not include incentive payments or capital contributions

Revenue: Ancillary Services

Ancillary services also set an all-time record of $13.5 million, beating our last record by nearly $1.5 million.
(advertising, audio-visual, telecommunications, in-house cleaning and utility services)

2006 Ancillary Revenue 2007 Ancillary Revenue 2008 Ancillary Revenue 2009 Ancillary Revenue 2010 Ancillary Revenue 2011 Ancillary Revenue 2012 Ancillary Revenue 2013 Ancillary Revenue 2014 Ancillary Revenue 2015 Ancillary Revenue

Hotel Room Nights

The San Diego Tourism Authority’s Citywide Sales Team, which is contracted by the San Diego Convention Center Corporation to sell the facility, broke a record, booking over 1 million room nights, surpassing their goal of 860,000 in FY15.

Regional Impact
$0 billion
Tax Revenues
$0 million
Direct Attendee Spending
$0 million
Hotel Room Nights

Estimates based on attendance projections provided to the Corporation by event management.

Building Occupancy

The San Diego Convention Center Continues to perform far above industry standards and has exceeded 60% occupancy, or its Practical Maximum Occupancy, since 2006.

Practical Maximum Occupancy: 60% 2006 Building Occupancy 2007 Building Occupancy 2008 Building Occupancy 2009 Building Occupancy 2010 Building Occupancy 2011 Building Occupancy 2012 Building Occupancy 2013 Building Occupancy 2014 Building Occupancy 2015 Building Occupancy National Occupancy Average: 44%

The San Diego Convention Center is a powerful economic driver for the region.

To calculate the value of each event, the Corporation measures Regional Impact. This video explains more.

Attendee Spending

Convention attendees spend up to four times the amount of money than the average leisure traveler.

FY15 Estimated Attendee Spending

$220.26 million
$0 million
Retail Shopping
$0 million
Air Transportation
$0 million
Local Transportation
$0 million
$0 million
Auto Rental
$0 million
$0 million
Event Costs
$0 million

Total Estimated Attendee Spending: $624.75 million

The results are based on information and research provided by Destination Marketing Association International
and by San Diego based CIC Research, Inc.

FY15 Top 5 Economic Generators

FY15 Top 5 Attendance

San Diego Comic-Con International


San Diego International Auto Show


San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon


Cisco Live!


American College of Cardiology


Estimates based on attendance projections provided to the Corporation by event management.

Giving Back

Donated 19.25 tons of meeting materials leftover from in ­house events including: clothing, shoes, glasses, backpacks, books, sunscreen, pens, notepads, Frisbees, stuffed animals, comics, utensils, chairs, tables and carpet.

Donated 75 tons of edible food to the San Diego Rescue Mission – enough to plate 120,000 meals.

Donated meeting materials to 25 regional nonprofits, schools, libraries, churches, veterans’ groups, women’s centers and shelters including the San Diego Rescue Mission, Monarch School and Habitat for Humanity.

Environmental Leadership

In FY15, the San Diego Convention Center diverted 62 percent of all waste generated in the building, setting a new environmental record. Those recycling efforts equate to nearly 1,250 tons of materials kept out of local landfills.

175 Tons of non-edible food was composted.

62% of all waste generated in FY15 was kept out of landfills.

100% of the cardboard that came through the facility in FY15 was recycled.

1,250 tons of materials were recycled, equivalent to the weight of 200 Male African Elephants.

81,000 Gallons of water were conserved with low flow automatic sinks and toilets and drip irrigation.

185 tons of cardboard were recycled, equivalent to the weight of 215 Volkswagen Beetles.

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Copyright © 2015 San Diego Convention Center Corporation.