Councilmember Chris Cate and Mayor Faulconer ask Newsom for convention center reopening guidelines
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilmember Christ Cate have sent a letter to Governor Newsom asking for safe reopening guidelines for convention centers.
Under normal circumstances, the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) serves as an economic engine for the City, generating activity for businesses in the region as well as essential tax revenue for core City needs and services.
Faulconer and Cate tell KUSI that in fiscal year 2019, the San Diego Convention Center hosted 143 events and 836,695 attendees, accounted for 822,528 hotel room nights, $755.3 million in direct attendee spending, $29 million in hotel and sales tax revenue to the City, and had an overall regional impact of $1.3 billion. But due to the pandemic, events are not allowed at the convention center so its ability to generate revenue for the City is stalled.
Cate joined KUSI News to explain the convention center has lost more than 100 events between March and December of this year and in addition to lost events, the projected lost figures for the cancelled and rescheduled events in 2020 are:
•Event attendees: 628,440
•Hotel nights: 671,670
•Direct attendee spending: $707.8 million
•Regional impact: $1.2 billion
Chris Cate, Chair of the City of San Diego’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee released a statement saying, “we are respectfully requesting that the Governor approves the Safe Reopening Guidelines for convention centers statewide. These guidelines were submitted to his office in June. When conventions can reopen is just as critical as how they will be allowed to resume, and the state should be proactive in approving these guidelines well in advance. The world’s fifth largest economy cannot turn on a dime and this guidance has been thoughtfully developed with an emphasis on public health and safety by leaders in the industry.”
Cate and Mayor Faulconer’s complete letter to Governor Gavin Newsom can be read here.