Orange County Business Journal

Comic-Con in San Diego Through 2016

Lou Hirsh Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The local nonprofit group that has run Comic-Con International in San Diego since 1970 has extended its contract with the city through 2016, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced at a news conference.

The pop-culture gathering annually draws 130,000 people to the San Diego Convention Center, and organizers’ contract with the city had been set to expire in 2015.

San Diego in recent years has seen competition from other Southern California cities, including Anaheim and Los Angeles, looking to lure Comic-Con to their own convention venues.

WonderCon, the sister show to Comic-Con, was held at the Anaheim Convention Center for the first time earlier this year. The show, which typically attracts about 50,000 people, is usually held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, but renovation work at the center caused the move.

WonderCon is due back in Anaheim for next year’s March 29-31 run.

San Diego city and convention center officials have estimated that Comic-Con has an annual economic impact of $180 million on the San Diego region, including $75 million in direct attendee spending and $2.6 million in tax revenues.

San Diego city officials are in the process of finalizing financing plans for a proposed $520 million expansion of the convention center, which officials say is needed to attract and retain more large conventions like Comic-Con. The city is looking to break ground on the project next year.

Hirsch is a staff reporter with the San Diego Business Journal, a sister publication of the Orange County Business Journal