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Comic-Con to stay in San Diego Through 2016

Deal includes $500 million expansion of Convention Center

San Diego has secured Comic-Con through 2016.

The city already had inked a new deal with organizers of the nation’s largest fanfest, which attracts more than 130,000 attendees in July, through at least 2015 two years ago (Daily Variety, Sept. 30). But San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders said Monday the show will stay put for an additional year beyond that.

In its existing deal, the contract with the city’s convention center was skedded to expire in 2012, but was extended “for the foreseeable future.”

Part of that deal was contingent upon San Diego expanding its now cramped convention center during the Con, forcing the show to flow into exhibit space at neighboring hotels like the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego Marriott and Hilton San Diego Bayfront that have offered 300,000 square feet through 2015.

San Diego officials on Monday officially agreed to greenlight a $500 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, with construction expected to begin next year for the new facility to be ready for 2016.

With a larger facility years away, other cities like Los Angeles, Anaheim and Las Vegas have lobbied to steal away the show. In the past, the city has claimed that the show generates $60 million in revenue for San Diego’s hotels, restaurants and retailers, but Sanders upped that figure to $180 million on Monday, adding that it also provides $3 million in sales and hotel room tax income during the four-day period. The convention first opened its doors to mostly comicbook fans in 1970.

SDCC 2013 will take place July 18-21.

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