With just two weeks until the official start of Comic-Con International, organizers are reportedly nearing a deal with San Diego officials that will keep the event in the city through 2018. The current contract expires next year.
Although there's been no official comment about an agreement, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports an announcement is expected before the convention gets under way on July 9. Area hoteliers have confirmed to the newspaper that they've been asked to amend their 2016 contracts, agreeing to maintain the same number of discounted rooms at the same rates through 2018.
The anticipated agreement is the result of a months-long effort by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to keep Comic-Con in San Diego, long after the event outgrew the Convention Center.
Although Anaheim, California, and Los Angeles offer larger venues, San Diego over the past few years has been able to forestall a potential move by enlisting hotels to freeze convention-block rates, with the Hilton San Diego Bayfront also providing rent-free conference space for official events.
A permanent solution to the venue woes, the planned $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, was torpedoed in August when a California appeals court ruled the hotel tax devised to pay for it was unconstitutional. The project would've added 740,000 square feet of exhibit space, a five-acre rooftop park, a waterfront promenade with retail shops and restaurants, and a second, 500-room tower to the adjacent Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.
Comic-Con declined comment for the Union-Tribune report, with Faulconer's office releasing only this statement: “Comic Con is a San Diego treasure and we continue to have a tremendous partnership. I’m looking forward to this year’s convention and to continuing our collaborative relationship.”
Comic-Con will be held July 9-12, with Preview Night on July 8.