San Diego Convention Center facts for kids

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San Diego Convention Center
View of the center from West Harbor Drive
Address 111 West Harbor Drive
Location San Diego, California
Coordinates 32°42′23″N 117°09′40″W / 32.7063°N 117.1612°W / 32.7063; -117.1612Coordinates: 32°42′23″N 117°09′40″W / 32.7063°N 117.1612°W / 32.7063; -117.1612
Built March 1987 - November 1989
Opened November 1989
Construction cost $164 million
Enclosed space
 Total space 1,107,600 sq ft (102,900 m2)
 Exhibit hall floor 615,700 sq ft (57,200 m2)
 Breakout/meeting 123,400 sq ft (11,460 m2)
 Ballroom 80,700 sq ft (7,500 m2)

The San Diego Convention Center is the main convention center in San Diego, California. It is in the Marina district of downtown San Diego. The center is managed by the San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

The convention center has 615,700 sq ft (57,200 m2) of exhibit area. As of 2009 it was the 24th largest convention center in North America. It was designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. The building can hold 125,000 people.

The center's best known feature is the Sails Pavilion. It is a 90,000 sq ft (8,400 m2) exhibit and special event area. The Sails Pavilion's roof includes Teflon-coated fiberglass "sails". They are intended to show San Diego's maritime history. The Pavilion was first built as an open-air facility under the roof. This made it hard to get people to use it. Because of this, the Pavilion area was enclosed in glass. This made it much more usable.


San Diego approved the construction of a new convention center in 1983. It was built on land owned by the Port of San Diego. Construction of the building began in March 1987. It was finished in November 1989. The center was made larger in 2001.

Notable events hosted at the convention center include the Comic Con International convention. It hosted the 1996 Republican National Convention, which nominated Bob Dole and Jack Kemp for President and Vice President of the United States.

San Diego Convention Center from a helicopter, 2011

San Diego Convention Center Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.