San Diego Convention Center lights up with new LED feature

The San Diego Convention Center recently debuted its newest feature: LED coloured lights, which illuminate the newly renovated iconic fabric roof.

The lights change colours and are visible across the downtown area – from the Gaslamp Quarter, to Coronado Bay and especially to visitors flying in on their way to the San Diego International Airport.

The LED lights showcase the 8,361sqm venue, which recently underwent a US$16.7m renovation, forming part of the largest series of upgrades in the convention centre’s history.

“The Sails Pavilion is our convention center’s most distinguishing feature,” said San Diego Convention Center Corporation president & CEO, Clifford ‘Rip’ Rippetoe, CVE.

The light fixtures are the same as those used to light the Empire State Building in New York City.

“This is a very differentce space than it was when it opened in 1989,” said executive VP and GM, Karen Totaro, CVE.

Totaro added: “It took hundreds of people – from our internal staff, to our partners – working collaboratively in this effort including BirdAir, ProCal Lighting, Siemens and Kinsman Construction.

“Their work will serve as a legacy for both our city and our customers to live up to our award-winning title ‘Venue of Excellence’ and ‘Best of California.'”

“After 28 years in operation, it was time to reinvest and reimagine the space. Not only were we able to conduct necessary maintenance and upgrades without interfering with our business, but we were able to add something new that will make the Convention Center truly shine,” added Rippetoe.

All of the upgrades, except the LED lights, were funded through a US$25.5m loan from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank). The LED lights were paid for by the Convention Center’s reserves, at a cost of US$377,000.

The concrete floor replacement started in December of 2016 and was completed in March 2017. The roof replacement began in August of 2017 and wrapped up in February 2018.

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