San Diego Comic-Con is staying put in its city of origin, at least until 2021. The event began in 1970 as a relatively small gathering of comic-book enthusiasts, with the first edition drawing about 300 fans to the U.S. Grant Hotel in March of that year. The convention was held mostly in San Diego hotels for its first two decades, ultimately moving to the San Diego Convention Center in 1991. The convention grew rapidly in the ensuing years, as Hollywood began making comic book movie franchises a centerpiece of its output, with film stars, directors and other luminaries making annual appearances at the big event.
In recent years, noises have been made about San Diego Comic-Con possibly leaving San Diego and finding a new home. The organizers have theoretically threatened to move to another city should San Diego not come through with funding for convention center expansion, which was part of a failed referendum last year for a combined convention center/football stadium in the city. But Comic-Con has always remained in San Diego, and it appears that’s going to continue to be the case for at least awhile longer.
Comic-Con International has reached an agreement to keep Comic-Con in San Diego through 2021, the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported Friday. A previous deal, in 2015, had placed the convention in its current home through 2018.
The deal includes a provision meant to “keep a lid” on hotel room rates in the city during the event each year; 56 city hotels agreed to the rate cap. Comic-Con International spokesman David Glanzer told the newspaper that despite the extension, the space crunch at the convention center remains a concern:
Comic-Con has clearly grown, thrived and become what it is today during its time in San Diego, and therefore it makes sense that it will be staying there for the next several years, starting with this year's 'Con next month. That the long-planned expansion still hasn't taken place, and the convention stayed anyway, is an indication that perhaps the threats to leave were somewhat hollow.
Then again, according to the article, Glanzer did not commit to keeping Comic-Con in San Diego for good, which indicates that the multi-city fight for Comic-Con - or at least the threat of one - is likely to repeat itself again in a few years.
The 2017 edition of San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 20-23.
Source: San Diego Union Tribune
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