Pop culture’s biggest annual bash, San Diego Comic-Con, will remain in San Diego through at least 2021. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the new agreement with Comic-Con International on Friday morning in front of Hall H. The announcement comes less than three weeks before the opening of the 2017 convention.
“San Diego has always been the proud home of Comic-Con and we are extremely pleased that we can carry on that tradition of being the destination for the world’s premier celebration of the popular arts,” Faulconer said in a news release.
Comic-Con’s future in San Diego has been the subject of debate for years. The event has outgrown the San Diego Convention Center, with activities spilling over into nearby hotels and to Petco Park. Attempts to expand the convention center have not succeeded thus far due to lawsuits over funding and access to the bay.
The cost of hotel rooms in San Diego has been another sticking point. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the deal hinged on getting dozens of hotels to agree to capping their rate increases, and doing the same for food and beverage prices and audio-visual services.
No Guarantees Of Staying In San Diego
Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer told the Union-Tribune that staying in San Diego is not a guarantee. “We’ve made it very, very clear we would love to stay here, but the truth of the matter is we have operated shows in Oakland, in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and in Anaheim,” he told the paper. “If the worst thing were to happen, and that is we had to leave, we all can still live in San Diego and the convention can be in another city. That’s not what we want. And I’m glad we’re calling San Diego home for another three years.”
Faulconer and tourism officials are continuing to push for an expansion of the convention center. The last effort, for a special election to approve an increase in the hotel room tax, was rejected by the city council, which favored leaving the matter for the 2018 general election.
Comic-Con is worth about $2.8 billion in tax revenues for San Diego.