San Diego Comic-Con will keep its name for the foreseeable future, as the annual pop culture gathering has resigned an agreement with the San Diego Convention Center that will keep the expo in that location through 2024. The existing contract was due to expire in 2021. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, this early agreement translates to a whopping discount. In 2023, SDCC will pay $177,027 to rent the Convention Center — a $370,673 discount. This new agreement arrives just over a week from the kickoff to this year’s SDCC– the 50th anniversary– which holds a preview night on Wednesday, July 17 and carries on through July 21.
This agreement may not come across as great news for everyone, as many exhibitors and attendees have complained that the San Diego Convention Center is too small for the constantly expanding event. According to the Union-Tribune:
“Voters will be asked in March to approve an increase in San Diego’s hotel tax to finance an expanded convention center, as well as services for the homeless and road repairs.”
A spokesman for SDCC, David Glanzer, said:
“It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the ballot initiative. After that, there will be a true indicator of what we can do and how we plan for the future. The bottom line is our attendance has been capped at 135 000 for the last few years, and the cost to put on the show hasn’t been capped. Certainly, nobody expects to pay the same price today for a loaf of bread that they paid 10, 20 years ago, but hopefully we can be here for a long time.”
Matt Awbrey, chief of civic and external affairs and aide to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, stated:
“It’s cause for celebration but a reminder that our work is not done. We want the public to know that the lack of exhibition space remains a fundamental problem for Comic-Con and other big conventions that want to bring business and jobs to San Diego, and we can’t say ‘mission accomplished’ until voters approve the citizens’ initiative in March to modernize and expand the convention center.”
Glanzer further clarified that SDCC has worked out agreements with local hotels to cap annual rate increases at 2% but not all hotels have agreed.
Do you plan to attend SDCC? How do you feel about it staying put for the next several years?