Comic-Con International 2015 will be getting underway in San Diego next week (as I sit here writing this), so everyone’s attention is currently fixed on news about which individuals and projects – be they movies, TV shows, video games, or (gasp!) actual comic books – will be present and accounted for as part of the SDCC 2015 festivities. However, for a while now there’s been an ongoing conversation about what the future holds for Comic-Con International.
The issue relates to Comic-Con International’s effort to deal with the annually-growing number of Comic-Con attendees by expanding the San Diego convention center, via a $520 million expansion plan to increase space for the event. However, that plan has come up against some major roadblocks and thus, for several months now, there’s been fair reason to wonder if Comic-Con International might end up relocating to another city, after its contract with San Diego expires in 2016.
Well, that’s not going to happen – not before 2018, anyway. San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, along with council member Todd Gloria and the Comic-Con International spokesperson David Glanzer, have announced a two-year extension of the current contract between the city of San Diego and Comic-Con International. Faulconer explained the reasoning for reaching an agreement on the matter as follows:
“If you still don’t understand how much Comic-Con means to San Diego, more Superman means more super-streets, more light sabers means more library hours, and more Comic-Con means more neighborhood services for San Diegans.”
The deal, which may bring in around $2.8 million in tax revenue for San Diego city, was struck after the negotiation process played out as “touch and go, for awhile,” according to Glanzer. Indeed, Variety has been informed by its sources that the Comic-Con International organizers were “strongly considering” alternative options during the talks (with such places Los Angeles and Anaheim being eyed as potential new homes for the event). Meanwhile, Faulconer was reportedly attempting to help the process along, by working to convince several local hotels to not drastically raise their room rates during every ‘Con.
Comic-Con International has been held in San Diego since it started in 1970, so there’s a lot of history there, and event is a major annual boon to the San Diego economy (it’s brought in an estimated $180 million annually to the city, in recent years). At the same time, though, as anyone who has waded through the massive Comic-Con crowds – whether it’s around the outside of the San Diego convention center or within its hallways – could tell you, the event needs more space, and that’s not going to stop being an issue anytime soon.
As mentioned before, though, the Comic-Con International organization is well aware of those issues and have been taking steps to address the over-crowding problems – including, by hosting panels and events at hotels and places (like Petco Park) surrounding the San Diego convention center. No doubt, additional steps will be taken, over the course of the next two years, too.
Comic-Con International 2015 will take place in San Diego, starting on Thursday, July 9th and continuing until Sunday, July 12th.