The North Pacific’s oldest and most popular marine trade show has been sidelined by Thursday night football. 

“Those folks that have been with us for a long time know that holding the event at the CenturyLink Field Event Center means that we have to come second in line to the NFL.”

Denielle Christiansen is organizer of Pacific Marine Expo, now in its 52nd year.

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The trade show has traditionally been held in November at the CenturyLink center the week before Thanksgiving.  Last month Expo learned that a Thursday night game of the Seattle Seahawks versus Green Bay would spike those dates.

“Century link has been an excellent partner to us. When they called us, they knew we were not going to be particularly happy with our options. But they have always been clear with us that NFL and sports in general is their primary business. We do come second, unfortunately, when it comes to those dates.”   

Organizers have spent the past weeks canvassing customers about holding Expo either during Thanksgiving week or right before Christmas.

“Most folks wanted to stay at what is a pretty traditional time for us, which is around thanksgiving.   So we’ve ended up at the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the week of Thanksgiving, which is November 18, 19 and 20.”   

The dates could work well for Alaskans traveling on holiday to the Lower 48.

And while the NFL might have thrown cold water on the traditional Expo dates, Christensen does not expect it to dampen enthusiasm.

“I don’t expect these dates are going to have a particularly large impact on the exhibits or attendance just because of the loyalty this show has built up over the years. People love it and they love the opportunity to see each other, especially the folks from Alaska have confirmed that they enjoy coming at this time of year.”

Last year’s Expo attracted 500 exhibitors and over 6,000 visitors from 40 states and 24 countries.

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