The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center lights up Market Street. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.
The Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) scheduled to take place this month has been cancelled. Credit: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / San Antonio Report

The convention that had the potential to reactivate San Antonio’s meeting calendar which had experienced a flurry of cancellations in late spring and early summer is now off.

The Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) notified its members Monday that the annual coaches convention, scheduled for July 19-21 at the Henry B. González Convention Center, would not be hosted as planned. Instead, the group will provide virtual training and lectures on those dates.

The THSCA convention could have brought an estimated $7.8 million economic impact to San Antonio.

In a press release, the coaches group stated, “We had hoped for a decrease in the spread of the coronavirus as we neared the convention date, but the situation has evolved rapidly and we are committed to do our part to protect our attendees, sponsors, vendors, and staff. This is an enormous disappointment and not a decision we have taken lightly.”

The coaches meeting usually draws as many as 10,000 people to San Antonio, though a smaller crowd was expected this year due to the pandemic.

Meeting planners began calling off 2020 conventions scheduled in San Antonio months ago, but THSCA officials announced as recently as June 11 that they planned to host their 88th annual assembly as scheduled despite health and safety concerns.

As of Monday, a total of 116 citywide and in-house meetings with an expected attendance of 309,218 have been canceled. A Visit San Antonio spokesperson said the estimated total lost economic impact exceeds $204 million.

At least 133 conventions and meetings booked through Visit San Antonio remain on the schedule for through the end of the year, which would result in nearly 152,000 total hotel room nights and $98 million in economic impact.

Eighteen of those conventions have contracts through Visit San Antonio to host meetings at the Henry B. González Convention Center.

“We appreciate the Texas High School Coaches Association working for as long as they did to try to hold their conference in San Antonio,” stated Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit San Antonio. “While we feel we had gone above and beyond to ensure a very safe conference, we are in uncharted territory that is requiring difficult decisions for everyone.”

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.