For the largest events, from year to year, the question of where an event will be hosted can become one of the biggest issues for everyone from the hosts to the attendees. E3 2020 has been confirmed for the Los Angeles Convention Center, but what about after that?
The same question has been hanging over the well-attended, sprawling, pop culture-celebrating San Diego Comic Comic-Con (SDCC) on the eve of the 2019 convention, which is celebrating its 50th year. That question mark has been changed to ellipses for now, when it was announced that San Diego had cut a deal with the SDCC organization to extend the contract with the San Diego Convention Center through 2024. Even under the current contract, SDCC would be able to organize their annual massive convention — until 2021.
Nothing about arranging a deal like this is simple. From the San Diego Union-Tribune story, David Glanzer, spokesman for Comic-Con International said:
“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.”
With that (and other events in mind) considered, voters will be considering whether to approve an increase in the San Diego hotel tax to help underwrite an upgrade and expansion in their local convention center. At the same time, making it easier for SDDC to remain in San Diego was around capping increases on hotel room rates. So far, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune story, 60 hotel properties (14,000 peak night rooms) from their convention room block have made an agreement with SDCC organizers on capping room rates. As an additional incentive, the convention center has also extended a considerable discount for the SDCC through 2024.
No one said being an event organizer was easy. But, at least for attendees, vendors and others involved in this convention, there’s a good chance the San Diego Comic-Con will keep the “San Diego” part of its name for the next five years.