Good news for San Diegans, city businesses and pop-culture fanatics: Comic-Con has extended its contract with the San Diego Convention Center for one year, guaranteeing that "America’s Finest City" will host the comic book and popular arts convention through 2016.
Mayor Jerry Sanders and David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for Comic-Con, made the announcement Monday morning, stressing the economic importance of the gathering for San Diego, but acknowledging that the throngs of attendees have already outgrown the host building.
“With an attendance of about 130,000 people, the convention pumps nearly $180 million into the local economy and produces almost $3 million a year in tax revenue that we can use for city services,” Sanders said.
Nikki Clay, chair of the Convention Center board of directors, said an expansion of the Convention Center is set to break ground in 2013 with an expected completion date of early 2016. The roughly 400,000 square-feet of additional space may not come to fruition, however, since the legality of the project’s funding is being questioned in court.
In a maneuver nearly identical to that used by the Tourism Marketing District, the City Council created a Convention Center Facilities District that would tax most hotels in the city, generating $30 million a year to fund the expansion. Since the tax was voted on by hoteliers and not the public, this move has the possibility of being deemed illegal in court, halting growth plans.
While Glanzer said the future of Comic-Con in San Diego doesn’t hinge entirely on the expansion of the Convention Center, increasing numbers of attendees means that it might play a role in prospective decisions.
“We didn’t take the expansion into consideration this year, but we’ll have to look at it in the future,” Glanzer said.
One thing is certain: Comic-Con will continue to draw crowds to San Diego through 2016, turning the Gaslamp Quarter into what Sanders calls a “high-tech twilight zone, offering some of the best people-watching you’ll ever see.”
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June 24, 2015 -- Reporter Carlos Rico checks out the new residential construction trends and products from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference held at the Convention Center.
June 5, 2013 -- Reporter Carlos Rico checks out this year's Pacific Coast Builders Conference at the San Diego Convention Center, one of the largest residential construction conventions on the West Coast. The conference offers workshops, educational seminars, industry keynote speeches, award ceremonies and a trade show.