About San Diego

There is nothing more rewarding than planning an event that draws record attendance. With legendary weather, oceanfront backdrops and a friendly vibe, San Diego, is a destination surrounded by natural beauty that draws big crowds and big thinking. The only U.S. city to be named a “World Smart City” by National Geographic Channel, San Diego is a meetings destination where attendees can capture memories and achieve the extraordinary. The award-winning LEED Gold certified San Diego Convention Center is flanked by three waterfront upscale convention hotels. Beyond downtown, six other unique meeting regions are minutes from San Diego International Airport, national parks, and iconic attractions like the San Diego Zoo, the USS Midway Museum, Balboa Park and SeaWorld. Beyond the visual romance, its rich diversity and cultural offerings make San Diego a must attend experience.


  • How much is the total cumulative hotel tax? 12.5%
  • How much is the F&B tax? 7.75%
  • How much is the average F&B gratuity? 19%


  • How many miles from the airport to downtown?
    3 miles (Airport is a 10 minute drive to the San Diego Convention Center)
  • Is there public transportation, such as a bus or subway available?
    Public transit is available to and from the Airport and downtown San Diego on the Metropolitan Transit System.
  • How much does the public transportation cost?
    $2.25, One-way fare for on the Metropolitan Transit System
  • What is the shuttle bus fare from the airport to downtown?
    Shuttle van/bus prices range from $9-14+ for 1 person. Shuttle service is available at the Transportation Plazas across from Terminals 1 and 2, and curbside at the Commuter Terminal. 
  • What is the taxi fare from airport to downtown? $12 – $18
  • How many daily flights out of airport?
    The Airport accommodates approximately 800 arrivals and departures each day, the vast majority of which are for passenger service. 
  • Is the airport a hub for any carrier?
    Southwest Airlines 38% followed by United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
  • What are the major carriers serving airport?
    United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Eagle, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Edelweiss, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Virgin America, WestJet


  • How many committable hotel rooms downtown on peak night?
    15,000 committable hotel rooms downtown on peak night
  • How many committable hotel rooms downtown on peak within walking distance to convention center?
    7,000 committable hotel rooms downtown on peak night under half mile from convention center
  • How many headquarter hotel properties?
    Three headquarter hotel properties, all waterfront – San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina (1,360), Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego (1,600), Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel (1,100)
  • How many rooms available on peak night at the largest headquarter property?
    Typically, 1,300-1,500 rooms are available at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1,000-1,200 at Marriott Marquis, and 900-1,000 at Hilton Bayfront.

Convention Center

  • How many total gross square feet of exhibit space at Convention Center?
    615,701 total gross square feet of exhibit space at the San Diego Convention Center. Additionally, 184,514 sq. ft. of landscaped terrace levels with spectacular bay views are available – ideal for receptions and breaks as well as 249,494 sq. ft. of pre-function, registration and circulation areas including the lobby which features 115,756 sq. ft. of convenient registration areas.
  • How much of this exhibit space is contiguous?
    525,701 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space on Ground Level.
  • How many total gross square feet of meeting space is available at the Convention center?
    72 meeting rooms totaling 204,114 sq. ft. of space including two Ballrooms totaling 80,706 sq. ft. (40,000+ each)
  • How many meeting rooms does the convention center have? 72 meeting rooms
  • How big is the largest meeting room? 40,000+ sq. ft.
  • How many ballrooms does the convention center haveTwo
  • How big is the largest ballroom?
    The largest ballroom is Ballroom 6ABCDEF at 40,955 sq. ft.
  • When was the last renovation or expansion?
    Since the Convention Center’s first year of operation in 1989, the Convention Center has welcomed over two million visitors to over 1,700 events. Based upon the enormous success of the Convention Center, Phase 2 expansion completed in 2001 nearly doubled the Center to 2.6 million gross square feet. Its waterfront footprint that offers 525,000 gsf of ground level exhibit halls, terraces, two 40,000 sf ballrooms and 72 breakouts is incredibly appealing especially since its flanked by upscale waterfront convention hotels and a walkable downtown hotel package. Efforts for the convention center’s much needed third expansion are underway. Phase 3 will create an additional 235,000 gsf of ground level exhibit space, an 80,000 gsf ballroom, a five-acre rooftop park overlooking the San Diego Bay and an additional 40 meeting rooms.
  • When is a future renovation/expansion scheduled?
    A future phase 3 expansion has been proposed for the Convention Center adding approximately 225,000 additional square feet of exhibit hall space.  Approximately 40 more meeting rooms and a third ballroom at 80,000 square feet will be added to the existing facility.
  • Is there free Wi-Fi at the convention center? In public areas
  • Is there an exclusive in-house Electrical provider?
    No. In addition, the Convention Center requires that all electrical work inside or attached to disconnect switches, panels, motor control centers, panel boards and other electrical equipment controlled by the Center, be performed by Convention Center Electrical Staff or approved utility services contractors only.
  • Is there an exclusive in-house AV provider? Yes, ON Site services for certain items such as house sound and rigging where are exclusive.
  • Is there an exclusive in-house decorator? No
  • Is there an exclusive in house caterer? Yes, Centerplate
  • Is the convention center a union property? Unions are represented.
  • If union property, can you provide estimated pricing list?
    Please call for current pricing as it most likely will change.
  • Here are a list of labor unions with whom planners will be required to work at the convention center:
    Current Convention Center labor contracts with following unions: IBEW, Carpenters, Plumbers, Operating Engineers, Teamsters, SEIU, Painters

Off Site Venues

How many off site venues within walking distance can host up to 2,000 people?
4— PETCO Park USS Midway Museum, Gaslamp Block Party, North/South Embarcaderos, Seaport Village and The Headquarters are all under 1 mile from the Convention Center and can host 2,000 people or more.

How many off site venues within a ten-minute bus transfer can host up to 2,000 people?
4 — San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Liberty Station are all < 10 miles from the Convention Center and can host 2,000 people or more.

How many restaurants are within walking distance of the convention center? 150+

Can you list local attractions and there whereabouts?

  • USS Midway Museum – The USS Midway was the longest-serving aircraft carrier in U.S. Navy history, proudly serving from World War II through Desert Storm. Visitors will find a dynamic, interactive experience designed to offer a taste of life aboard a Navy vessel. The Midway is also available as an event venue for up to 4,000 guests and is walking distance from Headquarter hotels. Click here.
  • Gaslamp Quarter – One of the city’s premier dining, shopping and entertainment destinations with its old-fashioned gas lamps, brick sidewalks and Victorian-style buildings. Across from the center, this historic neighborhood features 100 restaurants including sidewalk cafes, coffee houses and pubs, art galleries, boutiques and specialty stores, theatres and dance clubs. Click here.
  • PETCO Park/ San Diego Padres – Across from the Convention Center, the San Diego Padres’ ballpark combines the best sightlines in baseball with breathtaking downtown views. The 42,000-seat ballpark includes The Park at the Park, an elevated grassy 2.7-acre park, offering a bird’s eye view into the playing field. Click here.
  • Balboa Park – This free magnificent 1,200-acre city park was built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Expo is home to the San Diego Zoo, 14 museums, botanical gardens, a Tony award winning theater, an antique carousel and a miniature-scale train. Click here.
  • San Diego Zoo – The world-famous establishment is clearly no ordinary zoo. Walk or ride a double-decker bus throughout this expansive park, home to over 4,000 rare and exotic animals exhibited in beautiful garden habitats. The Zoo is a major research facility in San Diego. Click here.

Additional Resources

Easy to Use Guides

Downtown San Diego Map

Click to download

Convention Center Facility Guide

Click to download


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