Last week, I reported on two organizations that were upset the San Diego Convention Center Corp. listed them on a document of clients that “require” a Convention Center expansion.

It is unlikely either of those two organizations, the Radiological Society of North America or the National Association of Music Merchandisers could come to San Diego even with an expanded center for size and other reasons, they told me. Those two were the largest of the 28 organizations listed on the sheet in terms of projected economic impact, representing 14 percent of the $2.7 billion that could be lost to the city if it didn’t expand.

Now comes word that the number should have been higher.

An official with the Association of Music Merchandisers wondered where how the Convention Center Corp. came up with attendance figure for his annual show in Anaheim. It’s listed as 35,000, but attendance is 85,000, he said.

Convention Center Corp. officials responded to me this morning with an answer.

According to spokeswoman Denise Mosgrove, the document transposed the attendance figures and the hotel room night figures.

At the time this data was researched, we understood attendance to be 90,000 and room nights 35,000. Inadvertently, when the information was entered into the spread sheet, the respective numbers were transposed, i.e., attendance was reflected as 35,000 and room nights was reflected at 90,000. So basically, the confusion is due to a typographical error that we regrettably missed in the proofing process.

Now Convention Center officials agree that the attendance figure should not have been 90,000, but 85,000 instead. This additional information affects the data for the Association reported on rest of the table: room nights, economic impact, direct attendee spending and projected transient occupancy tax.

The new numbers: 85,000 in attendance; 35,000 in room nights; $328.2 million in economic impact; $136.7 million in direct attendee spending; $5.4 million in transient occupancy tax. Senior Vice President of Sales Andy Mikschl has said the Convention Center uses standard industry metrics for their calculations.

Had these numbers been accurate the first time, the numbers presented would have been further higher on the original document. The total projected economic impact of all 28 organizations should have been just under $3 billion. The combined impact of the two organizations that don’t believe they should be on the list should have been $564 million or 19 percent of the total.

Update: We’ve gotten a couple comments that this post was difficult to follow. Here’s what happened in more plain language: The Convention Center Corp. screwed up all the numbers related to the National Association of Music Merchandisers. It transposed one set of numbers on the original document and then one of the transposed numbers turned out to be incorrect. Therefore, all the corresponding economic impact numbers were also wrong.

Using the correct numbers, the total economic impact aggregated from the original document should have been closer to $3 billion, not $2.7 billion. But, as our earlier story showed, the music merchandisers shouldn’t have been included in the list. That means that 19 percent of the $3 billion in economic impact comes from organizations that don’t believe they should be on the list, not the originally reported 14 percent.

Also, the original version of this post incorrectly stated the impact as $2.7 million rather than billion.


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