San Diego Convention Center prepares to reopen to events

Local

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Convention Center is preparing to reopen its doors to events Sunday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Since the pandemic started, more than 150 events were either canceled, postponed or moved online. All of that changed Friday morning.

As long as visitors have been fully vaccinated or can show a negative test result within 72 hours prior to an event, they can come to one of the 30 events that have been scheduled through the end of this year.

“30 events, wow,” said Elizabeth, who works behind the counter of Gaslamp Garage, just a block away. “It’s been a struggle up and down, and we were forced to closed down for a while.”

She said not having the convention center, which generates more than $2 billion every year, has been devastating.

“It’s mostly souvenirs, sweaters, mugs,” Elizabeth said. “Most of our customers are tourists.”

Eyes of Fifth, a glasses store across the street from the convention center, has also been struggling.

“I have not made any profit any month, for a year-and-a-half,” owner Phil Harris said.

Harris knows businesses like his will see a huge boost from economic activity, but he hopes they’ll also see something else.

“Inside, let’s mask up, even if you are vaccinated,” he urged.

The suggestion coming on the heels of the Health Department’s latest update, that even vaccinated people can spread COVID, they are just less likely to show symptoms.

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