2016 to bring record number of guests to Convention Center

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Convention Center is scheduled to host 66 major conventions next year, attracting a record of nearly 674,000 attendees, according to a forecast issued Monday by the agency that runs the facility.

An additional 42 smaller events are expected to bring in almost 229,000 people, the report from the San Diego Convention Center Corp. said.

“The upcoming year will be our strongest on record when it comes to attendance and room night generation, which is great news for the convention and meeting industry in San Diego in the months ahead,” said Carol Wallace, the center’s president and CEO. “It is a particularly exciting year ahead as we look forward to hosting the MLB All-Star Fanfest in the facility in July.”

The Fanfest is expected to draw around 100,000 baseball-lovers to the center July 8-12, before the All-Star Game at nearby Petco Park.

Other large draws in 2016 will be Comic-Con International, July 21-24, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Expo, June 3-4.

The convention center’s total regional economic impact is expected to eclipse $1.2 billion, based on a projected all-time high $708.1 million in direct attendee spending, the forecast said. Around $25.6 million in tax revenues are expected to be generated by convention attendees.

The trade shows expected to be the biggest economic boosts are:

— Comic-Con, $140 million;

— the Society for Neuroscience, Nov. 12-16, $109.6 million;

— Digestive Disease Week, May 21-24, $62.8 million;

— the American Society of Hematology, Dec. 3-5, $61.8 million; and

— the American Chemical Society, March 14-16, $60.5 million.

The spending goes toward hotel rooms, restaurants and bars, shopping and admissions to attractions, among other things.

The projections come about two weeks after officials said San Diego was on pace for a record year for tourism of all sorts in 2015.

The San Diego Tourism Authority reported that 34.2 million people will visit San Diego by the end of this year, spending $9.9 billion, staying for a combined 16.9 million nights in hotels, and adding $266 million in room tax revenue to local government coffers.


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