Comic-Con staying in San Diego

Fri Oct 1, 2010 1:00am EDT
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Comic-Con, the annual gathering of tens of thousands of fanboys, will be staying in San Diego for the foreseeable future.

After months of hand-wringing and poring over the proposals from the cities of San Diego, Anaheim and Los Angeles, Comic-Con decided to stick to the place where it all began in 1970.

Comic-Con struck a three-year deal with San Diego, which will keep the pop culture event in the coastal city through 2015. A press conference is expected to take place Friday, with mayor Jerry Sanders making an official announcement.

The decision regarding the future of Comic-Con's home was a sword of Damocles hanging over its head this summer. A decision was initially expected in June but kept getting postponed.

"That it took this long is a testament to each proposal," said David Glanzer, Comic-Con's director of marketing and public relations. "L.A., Anaheim and San Diego all had unique understanding of the challenges we faced and tried to mitigate those. In the end, we looked at what was best for the attendees."

While Glanzer didn't reveal details of what tipped the decision one way or another, he did say San Diego "really came together to try to make it work for us."

Comic-Con reached an attendance limit at the San Diego Convention Center of 125,000 in 2007 and has hit those numbers every year since. The actual number of people unofficially attending by traveling to the city and attending events away from the convention center is likely thousands higher.

While new hotels were constructed and Comic-Con moved some of its programing off-site, it began entertaining proposals to move the convention.

Comic-Con was first held in 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel, where it attracted 300 people. As the event grew, subsequent homes included the downtown El Cortez Hotel in the 1970s and the San Diego Convention and Performing Arts Center in the 1980s. Comic-Con moved to the then-newly built convention center in 1991.

The question now is whether the tough process of finding a home will repeat itself after 2015.