After months of speculation, the massive convergence of comics, movies, TV, cosplay and marketing known as Comic-Con International will stay in San Diego for (at least) a few more years.
The mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, revealed the extension at a news conference (and via tweet) Thursday, stating that the convention will stay in the city through 2018. The news is no doubt a huge relief for San Diego; the contract with Comic-Con was due to expire after next year’s festivities.
As The Times previously reported, San Diego has been trying to woo the convention to extend its stay with promises to expand the convention center with massive ballrooms, additional meeting spaces and more than 225,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Among the cities rumored as possible new homes for the convention were Los Angeles and Anaheim, which hosts Comic-Con International’s WonderCon.
“The proposals we’ve received are pretty amazing,” David Glanzer, a Comic-Con International spokesman, said in January. “It’s not an easy decision.”
The expansion of the San Diego Convention Center hasn’t happened, but it looks as if the city found a way to persuade Comic-Con to stay.
In January, Joe Terzi, president and chief executive of the San Diego Tourism Authority, said he believed that an agreement with local hotels to devote their meeting space for Comic-Con activities would help the city sign the deal to keep the convention through 2018.
The four-day convention (five if you count preview night) rakes in gobs of cash for the city. Last year, Comic-Con brought in more than 130,000 attendees and generated $177.8 million for San Diego’s economy.
“For us,” Terzi said, “Comic-Con is our Super Bowl.”
Times staff writers Hugo Martin and Tony Perry contributed to this report.
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