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Comic-Con will stay in San Diego through 2021

Philip Brown (dressed as "Aladdin" villain Jafar) rides the escalator inside the San Diego Convention Center at Comic-Con 2016. (Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)
Philip Brown (dressed as "Aladdin" villain Jafar) rides the escalator inside the San Diego Convention Center at Comic-Con 2016. (Harrison Hill / Los Angeles Times)

Despite much speculation and worry about the future location of Comic-Con International — the comic book, television, movie and pop culture extravaganza — the convention will remain in San Diego for at least four more years, it was announced Friday.

As the popularity of the cosplayers' paradise expands, so do the crowds. Last year the event, which kicked off in 1970 San Diego with 145 guests, attracted more than 135,000 attendees.

The spectacular growth rate has elicited interest from other cities looking to cash in on the lucrative possibility of hosting the five-day affair. (Both Los Angeles and Anaheim were courting the relocation at one time.)

And with the 2018 end date of Comic-Con's agreement to stay in San Diego looming, fans were eager to find out where the nerve center of all things nerd media would be moving to.

But for now, the (near) future of geek culture has been settled. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that Comic-Con will remain in the city it originated in through 2021.

“San Diegans can be excited to know that Comic-Con will continue to pump millions of dollars into our economy to support local jobs, street repair and neighborhood services," Faulconer said in a press release Friday. "It is more important than ever that we continue to push to expand the convention center so we can ensure Comic-Con and other large conventions continue to stay in San Diego for years to come.”

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer mentioned the lengthy discussions that led to the agreement.

"While it did take more than a year in negotiations, we are pleased with this outcome,” said Glanzer in the same release. “We are grateful for the leadership of Mayor Faulconer and the hard work of those at the San Diego Tourism Authority who were instrumental in securing this agreement."

The Times will have full coverage of the 2017 convention leading up to its July 19 kickoff.

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