Could we be looking at the end of an era?
Last week, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to end their work on the proposed expansion to the San Diego Convention Center. After legal challenges and the money used in designing and initiating (but not breaking ground) on the expansion, the city has spent $10,000,000.00 that it cannot recoup.
The crux of the current argument is the expansion was to cost $520,000,000.00 and it was to be funded by an extra tax added to hotel stays. The money was not to come out of the city coffers. The legal challenge to this tax stated that any tax increases in the city was to be put to a 2/3 vote of the citizens. This challenge is, in fact, correct in that the proposed tax wasn’t put up to a vote, and the people of San Diego have voted down similar tax measures in the past. Due to the high likelihood that the people would not vote for a new tax, the City Council decided that the expansion would not be able to go forward as is, so they voted to end the project.
The question people are asking now is, what is going to happen to Comic-Con, the convention that is the chief reason behind San Diego seeking to expand its convention center and the generator of over $18,000,000.00 in revenue?
In a statement, Comic-Con International's David Glanzer said that "any decision to remain in San Diego has always been based on a variety of issues, including hotel room rates, available meeting space and other concerns, none of which necessarily override the other."
Furgher, Glanzer stated "[Comic-Con International is] grateful that the mayor, city officials, hoteliers and convention center staff have worked to help mitigate our space concerns and are happy that we have a continuous dialogue with those entities. We hope there will be a solution that allows Comic-Con to stay in San Diego for years to come."
On the surface, that sounds like Comic-Con isn’t making any fast moves to get out of their contract with San Diego as it currently stands, but I would think that Comic-Con has received several phone calls already with offers for their 2017 convention going forward.
Do you think Comic-Con should move, or do you think San Diego’s government and citizens should do more to keep it? If it does move, what city do you think can house it? Leave your comments below, and we’ll discuss this matter in an upcoming episode of the Rolling 20’s podcast.