Event Permits San Diego

San Diego is host to many outdoor events on an annual basis. As you start the planning process, it is important to recognize that your event plays a unique part in the relationship with the community. A quality event can make a difference to the City of San Diego. EventPermits works with the City of San Diego and its partners, in planning safe and successful events that comply with city law.

San Diego Event Locations:

  • Horton Plaza
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • San Diego Convention Center
  • Balboa Park
  • Qualcomm Stadium
  • PETCO Park
  • San Diego Sports Arena
  • Cox Arena
  • Columbia district
  • Aztec Bowl

San Diego’s economy is largely composed of agriculture, biotechnology/biosciences, computer sciences, electronics manufacturing, defense-related manufacturing, financial and business services, ship-repair and construction, software development, telecommunications, and tourism. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center promotes research in biotechnology.

Gaslamp Quarter
Gaslamp Quarter
Museum of Man
Museum of Man
North Embarcadero (vision)
North Embarcadero (vision)

Downtown San Diego has experienced some urban renewal since the early 1980s. This has resulted in the opening of Horton Plaza, the revival of the Gaslamp Quarter, and the construction of the San Diego Convention Center.

The 2005 boom in the construction of condominiums and skyscrapers brought gentrification as well.

The North Embarcadero is slated to have parks in addition to a waterfront promenade. Balboa Park is scheduled to be linked to downtown.

Many popular museums, such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the Museum of Photographic Arts are located in Balboa Park. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is located in an ocean front building in La Jolla and has a branch located at the Santa Fe Depot downtown. The Columbia district downtown is home to historic ship exhibits as well as the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum featuring the USS Midway aircraft carrier.

San Diego has a growing art scene. “Kettner Nights” at the Art and Design District in Little Italy has art and design exhibitions throughout many retail design stores and galleries on selected Friday nights. “Ray at Night” at North Park host a variety of small-scale art galleries on the second Saturday evening of each month. La Jolla and nearby Solana Beach have a variety of art galleries.

The San Diego Symphony at Symphony Towers performs on a regular basis and is directed by Jahja Ling. The San Diego Opera at Civic Center Plaza was ranked by Opera America as one of the top 10 opera companies in the United States. Old Globe Theatre at Balboa Park produces about 15 plays and musicals annually. The La Jolla Playhouse at UCSD is directed by Christopher Ashley. The Joan B. Kroc Theatre at Kroc Center’s Performing Arts Center is a 600-seat state-of-the-art theatre that hosts music, dance and theatre performances. The San Diego Repertory Theatre at the Lyceum Theatres in Horton Plaza produces a variety of plays and musicals. Serving the northeastern part of San Diego is the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, a 400-seat performing arts theater.

Tourism has affected the city’s culture, as San Diego houses many tourist attractions, such as SeaWorld San Diego, Belmont amusement park, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and nearby Legoland. San Diego’s Spanish influence can be seen in the many historic sites across the city, such as the Spanish missions and Balboa Park. Cuisine in San Diego is diverse, and includes European-American, Mexican-American, and Asian-American cuisine. Annual events in San Diego include Comic-Con, San Diego/Del Mar Fair, and Street Scene Music Festival.

The annual Gay Pride Parade drew crowds in excess of 100,000 people in 2007.

San Diego has several sports venues. The National Football League’s San Diego Chargers plays in Qualcomm Stadium, as does NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs, as well as local high school football championships. International soccer games, Supercross events take place at Qualcomm where Major League Baseball was once played. Three NFL Super Bowl championships and many college football bowl games have been held there. Balboa Stadium is the city’s first stadium, constructed in 1914, where the San Diego Chargers once played. Currently soccer, football and track and field are played there.

Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres play in Petco Park. The semi-final and final games of the inaugural World Baseball Classic were played there in 2006, and are scheduled for the second WBC in 2009. Some soccer and rugby events occasionally take place in the park.

The San Diego Sports Arena has hosted basketball, ice hockey, indoor soccer and boxing.

NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs men’s and women’s basketball games are played at Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl on the campus of San Diego State University. College football and soccer, basketball and volleyball are played at the Torero Stadium and the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD.

The San Diego State Aztecs (MWC) and the San Diego Toreros (WCC) are NCAA Division I teams. The UCSD Tritons (CCAA) are members of NCAA Division II while the Point Loma Nazarene Sea Lions and San Diego Christian College (GSAC) are members of the NAIA.

The annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in the city draws 20,000 participants annually.

The USA Sevens takes place in the city. This is an event in the annual IRB Sevens World Series for international teams in rugby sevens, a variant of rugby union with seven players per side instead of 15. The USA Sevens moved from the Los Angeles area to San Diego in 2007.

San Diego has the largest championship drought in the nation with at least two major-league sports franchises; dating back to 1963 (45 Years as of 2008), as well as being the largest United States city to have not won a Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals or any other Major League sports championship; this is known as the San Diego Sports Curse.

San Diego is also a Mecca for Aggressive Rollerblading because of it weather, topography and history.

Will I need a Permit?

If you are asking this question, the answer most likely is, yes!

If you are in doubt about whether or not your proposed activity is an Outdoor Special Event, and are unsure of what is required, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Even though my event is on private property, will some aspects of it spill onto the public space? (i.e. sidewalks, roads, city property or property owned by someone other than you)
  • Is there a remote chance that the safety of the participants and/or the residents of the City of San Diego may be affected if certain aspects of your event are not properly constructed, installed, or handled (i.e. food, electrical wiring, tents, stages, generators)
  • Does your event require any City of San Diego services? ( i.e. trash pick up, closing of streets, etc.)
  • Will I be erecting a stage, tent (10 x 10 or larger), bleachers, or booths?
  • Will I be vending? (food, beverages, merchandise)
  • Will I be selling/serving Alcohol? Will my event include advertising and/or product sampling?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you will need an event permit in the City of San Diego and EventPermits will facilitate all of your needs on your behalf.

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