A mayor’s task force has recommended a proposed $750-million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, a move viewed as crucial to keeping Comic-Con International in the city past 2012.
In its final draft report, released yesterday afternoon, the Mayor’s Citizen Task Force on the San Diego Convention Center Project found the expansion “would provide a significant positive economic impact” to the region, and would generate new jobs. The task force also laid out several options for financing the project, including an increase in city or county sales tax and the creation of a special taxing district around the convention center.
As Liam Dillon notes in his overview of the expansion debate, Mayor Jerry Sanders has called the convention center “the goose that lays the golden eggs”; it’s contributed an estimated $18.3 billion to the city’s economy since it opened in 1989.
Officials have feared that without the expansion, which would allow the convention center to better compete with those in cities like Anaheim, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, San Diego could stand to lose some $2.7 billion as organizations moved there events elsewhere. Among those groups is Comic-Con International, whose contract with the San Diego Convention Center expires in 2012.