A proposed ballot initiative dubbed “Citizens’ Plan for San Diego” suggests that it could ensure the annual Comic-Con International remains in San Diego, but convention organizers have made it clear the two are not connected, and that support for the initiative does not affect Comic-Con’s plans, and whether or not the massively popular show will stay put.
“We’ve received emails and phone calls regarding this issue asking if it was true that signing the form would keep Comic-Con in San Diego,” Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer said in a statement. “We had no knowledge of this effort and as you might imagine, this came as a total surprise to us.”
The “About” section of the Citizens’ Plan for San Diego website states that one of the initiative’s benefits would be to “retain events like Comic-Con” through up to $36 million per year in tourism incentives, funding such proposed efforts as “off-waterfront Convention Center expansion and visitor-serving transit.” However, the plan would specifically prohibit expansion of the San Diego Convention Center along the waterfront, something that puts it in opposition with Comic-Con International’s priorities.
“Comic-Con has stated in the past, and continues to believe, a contiguous, expanded convention center is one that will benefit the city best,” Comic-Con organizers stated in a press release. “It appears this ballot initiative does not favor that scenario.”
The largest and highest-profile North American comic book convention, Comic-Con International has been held in San Diego since its inception in 1970. Given the convention’s unyielding annual growth and constant concerns of overcrowding, there’s been discussion for years about whether the event has outgrown its downtown San Diego venue, with Comic-Con officials acknowledging an eventual move is possible. Comic-Con is under contract to remain in San Diego through 2018.
“We were born in San Diego and our hope is to remain here for a long time,” Glanzer said in the press release. “However there are always challenges to face. Hotel room rates and meeting space are just some of them. Rarely is one issue the determining factor in our plans for the future.”
According to San Diego’s KPBS, the Citizens’ Plan needs a minimum of 66,000 valid signatures to appear on a ballot, in either June or November. The 2016 installment of Comic-Con International is scheduled for July 20-24, at the San Diego Convention Center.
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