Comic-Con International will remain in San Diego, at least for the time being. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the star-studded convention signed a deal to say in San Diego through 2021.
Comic-Con International, popularly known as San Diego Comic-Con, came to this agreement largely because of the local hotels. As in previous years, this contract renewal depended on the local hotels' willingness to cap room rates through the three-year term. Approximately 56 hotels agreed to the contract, which means they cannot raise room rates -- which are already discounted for the con -- more than 4% between 2019 and 2021.
“We have had to cap our attendance for many, many years so our income level is different and we have to be aware of that,” Comic-Con International spokesman David Glanzer said at the news conference that announced the deal. “But again, with the efforts of the mayor, the Tourism Authority, the hoteliers, we’re able to make what we have work.”
However, that doesn't mean SDCC will stay in San Diego beyond 2021. Comic-Con International wants to expand it home base, the San Diego Convention Center, but has been unsuccessful so far due to lack of funding. Mayor Kevin Faulconer urged the City Council to call a special election last fall to suggest a hotel room tax increase dedicated to the $600 million expansion as well as homelessness and street repairs, though the motion was ultimately vetoed by the Council.
“There’s no question that San Diegans understand how incredibly important Comic-Con is and not just Comic-Con but all the conventions that impact our city’s bottom line,” Faulconer said. “To have our flagship convention that has grown up with this city, you cannot take that success for granted... We need to get this center expanded, for the long term, for Comic-Con and for other groups.”
“We’ve made it very, very clear we would love to stay here, but the truth of the matter is we have operated shows in Oakland, in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and in Anaheim,” Glanzer explained. “If the worst thing were to happen, and that is we had to leave, we all can still live in San Diego and the convention can be in another city. That’s not what we want."
SDCC attracts more than 130,000 attendees every year. This year, the convention will run Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, Jul 23 in San Diego, California.