Port of San Diego – Tidelands Activation Program


Application period for TAP 2018-19 is now closed.


  • Tap 3c201bbe C733 4726 9589 4d5a4d734f52 Retouched
  • Tap 5e523f35 6730 4660 945b 4fdf5c470ca5 Retouched
  • Tap 87d978e0 886e 4a13 B639 4c86f89be357 Retouched
  • Tap A3b4daf2 9a5b 4619 B4f5 5b8a36460cb6 Retouched
  • Tap B0875d42 237d 4e76 9019 872f572e7c8f Retouched
  • Tap D7a500b5 E041 4d1b B80c 8fb9a1f28a24 Retouched
  • Tap F35a598c 4f66 443f 8888 7364d2620ab2 Retouched

What is the Tidelands Activation Program?

As part of efforts to support a vibrant and active waterfront, the Port of San Diego offers sponsorship to community organized events through the Tidelands Activation Program, or TAP. This annual grant program supports events, large and small, that engage the community and inspire visitors to enjoy San Diego Bay. Events are selected through a rigorous public evaluation process led by the Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee, which includes members of the community.

 back to top


Event Criteria

To be eligible for sponsorship, proposed events should take place on the Port Tidelands. This includes the 22 public parks, Broadway Pier & Pavilion, B Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal and public open space along San Diego Bay. For moving events with no single fixed location such as runs, walks and bike rides, at least a portion of the event must occur on Port Tidelands, meaning San Diego Bay and/or its surrounding land that is administered by the Port, as well as the Imperial Beach oceanfront. If a proposed event will not occur on Port Tidelands, the applicant must show how the proposed event aligns with the Port’s objectives.

 back to top


Application Timeline

Applications for event sponsorships are submitted annually for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. This year, the application period is moving to an earlier time period. The timeline for applying for the next fiscal year, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, is as follows:

NOVEMBER 8, 2017
Online application posted
JANUARY 5, 2018
Completed applications and attachments due by 5 pm PST
JAN. - FEB. 2018
Applications evaluated by Port of San Diego staff
MARCH 2018
Applications evaluated by Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee (TAPAC)
APRIL 2018
Board of Port Commissioners reviews recommended sponsorship amounts for approval
July 1, 2018
Sponsored events begin

 back to top


Criteria for Evaluating Sponsorship Applications

To be eligible for sponsorship, a proposed event should take place on the Port Tidelands. For moving events with no single fixed location such as runs, walks and bike rides, at least a portion of the event must occur on Port Tidelands, meaning San Diego Bay and/or its surrounding land that is administered by the Port, as well as the Imperial Beach oceanfront. This includes the 22 public parks, Broadway Pier & Pavilion, B Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal and public open space along San Diego Bay. If a proposed event will not occur on Port Tidelands, the applicant must show how the proposed event meets the criteria set forth below.

Events are evaluated on the below criteria as applicable:

  • The number of people the event will attract to the Port Tidelands considering the area utilized, the nature of the event and the affected community;
  • The ability of the event to do one or more of the following:
    • Attract diverse visitors and demographics to District Tidelands;
    • Foster relationships between the Port and its stakeholders in the region and community;
    • Provide a desirable attraction that is rare or unique to the Port Tidelands;
    • Provide the Port with opportunities to educate the public and its stakeholders, promote one or more of its mission areas, attract attention to future economic activities and opportunities on the Port Tidelands, and activate its parks, the waterfront and San Diego Bay through community engagement and/or media coverage;
    • Become self-sustaining through broad support and sustainable funding.
    • Grow in numbers.
  • The applicant's ability to measure the event's attendance and support;
  • Percentage of the event's budget that is being requested from the Port (funding and services);
  • Projected impacts of the event on Port tenant businesses and the surrounding community.
  • Documented past and expected future economic impact and financial return to the District. For certain events, the Port may audit and/or require the applicant to conduct a post-event economic impact analysis;
  • Expected promotional and/or marketing value of the event for the Port through attendee participation, event promotion and media coverage;

 back to top


Frequently Asked Questions

  •  How much funding can I request from the Tidelands Activation Program?
    There is no established funding limit to sponsorships in the Tidelands Activation Program (TAP); however, funding for individual events is naturally limited by the annual budget allotted for TAP.
  •  What is the annual budget allotted for the TAP?
    The annual budget for the TAP varies from year to year. In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the budget for the TAP was $726,500.
  •  How will I know if my sponsorship application was approved?
    The process for review and approval of TAP sponsorship applications is as follows:
    • Port staff will review your application and prepare a summary with recommendations for the Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee (TAPAC).
    • The TAPAC will meet in a public forum and generate its recommendations based on Port staff's recommendations.
    • Port staff will then finalize its recommendations and present them to the Board of Port Commissioners, which makes the final approval.
    You will be notified of Port staff's initial recommendation by email, have the opportunity to attend the TAPAC meeting to hear the discussion of applications and staff recommendations, and the opportunity to attend the Board of Port Commissioners meeting where the final approval is made. Following the Board's meeting, you will receive a list of the sponsorships that the Board approved.
  •  What types of services can I apply to receive from the Tidelands Activation Program?
    The Tidelands Activation Program provides services in the form of waivers of fees for the use of Port parks and event facilities including parking areas; and the use of the Port stage. Other services will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and you may be required to pay for certain services even if your event is sponsored with waivers of facility fees.
  • Can I see an example budget? Yes, view one here.

 back to top

Creative Commons LicenseThis public website's original content and documents, provided by the Port of San Diego, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted.