SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After more than a year, the San Diego Convention Center reopens its doors with the first event kicking off this weekend.
San Diego’s tourism took a big hit during the pandemic, but the city hopes to rebound with 30 events scheduled from August to December 2021.
Organizers for San Diego Comic-Con, one of the city’s biggest conventions, say they can’t wait to be back inside of the venue.
“We are more than ready to join the list of the many conventions planned for this year as we prepare to launch Comic-Con Special Edition, November 26, 27, and 28,” says Comic-Con Spokesperson David Glanzer. “It will be good to be back at our home away from home again.”
It was nothing but smiles and cheers Friday morning as local leaders opened the San Diego Convention Center doors. It’s been more than a year that the building closed due to the pandemic.
One hundred fifty events had to be canceled over those months. The city lost about $2 billion in revenue.
But the convention center wasn’t fully closed to guests. In the early months of 2020, the venue was used to house people living on the streets. This was a move to keep them safe from the virus.
Months later, the convention center became a shelter for more than 3,000 unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum.
“The convention center served as a welcoming space treating everyone that came through these doors with the dignity and the Humanity that they deserved,” says County Supervisor Nora Vargas.
As the convention center sees more people, city leaders say there are still protocols to keep individuals safe. Employees must wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
Until October 1, 2021, people attending indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 attendees will need to be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of the event.
The first event is set to kick off Sunday.