Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Comic-Con: San Diego no more?

As a huge comic book fan, I finally made the visit to geek mecca Comic-Con in beautiful San Diego last summer, along with 126,000 other fans. However, the buzz over the last year has been about whether this cultural phenomenon has finally outgrown its homeland, with the current contract running through 2012, leaving the convention on the open market for 2013 and beyond.

Other contenders being talked about include Los Angeles, Anaheim and Las Vegas. The event brings in tens of millions of dollars of spending, so it's a coveted gem for any city.

In order to keep the event in San Diego, local hotels are offering to double the dedicated hotel space from 7,000 to 14,000 rooms and offering 300,000 square feet of free meeting space from 2013 to 2015. A citizens task force has also approved expanding San Diego convention center, though that plan may not be put in action.

The Orange County Register did a piece on Anaheim's wooing of SDCC, noting that Anaheim is offering space in the 815,000-square-foot Anaheim Convention Center (around 500,000 more than San Diego), as well as more hotel rooms at cheaper rates. In a city already designed to accommodate tourists with its Disney pedigree, Anaheim's making a strong play for the convention.

Given that this year's four-day passes sold out in September of last year, space is clearly a key concern. A decision about the show's future is expected later this month. As someone who grew up reading about the legendary San Diego Comic-Con in Wizard Magazine, it has a certain romance and attachment to me that it stay part of that city, but with its explosive growth, it won't surprise me if it moves, either. As an Anaheim tourism official put it to the San Diego Union-Tribune, "The emotion is with San Diego because it grew up there and is at risk of leaving, but nothing lasts forever."

(Photos: Mike Roe/KPCC)

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