As covered extensively in the local San Diego press, a complex real estate deal has been okayed which would
allow the San Diego Convention Center to expand. Control over a seven-acre tract out in back of the existing Convention Center has been given to the SDCC by the SD Port commission, a huge step towards the planned $753 million expansion of the convention center which would allow Comic-Con to stay and other larger conventions to take place in San Diego.
Plans call for a 200,000 sq. ft. expansion of the convention center on the land, and a 500-room hotel to be built on the property, as seen in the video rendering below (And which we’ve screen capped to illustrate this piece.)
We esp. like the part where the camera swops in over the planned pedestrian bridge!
Even SD Mayor Jerry Sanders is on board with this expansion plan, and the approval of the land deal is being seen as a sign that San Diego will stay in San Diego after all, and it’s a chance for other, larger conventions to come to San Diego:
The expansion has been sought for nearly a decade. The center began operating at capacity in 2001, shortly after completion of its $216 million first expansion, and has turned away nearly 400 events in recent years. More than 80 percent of those events could have been accommodated if the venue had been larger.
The problem has been made vividly clear in recent months as Comic-Con organizers consider whether to move their pop-culture phenomenon out of San Diego, their longtime home, and send their 126,000 attendees to larger venues in Anaheim or Los Angeles for 2013 and beyond.
Carol Wallace, the center’s chief executive officer, said the port vote couldn’t come at a better time.
“The clock is ticking, as you’ve seen played out on all the comments about Comic-Con leaving San Diego because the center is too small,” she said. “This would show that we are moving forward and that San Diego is serious about an expansion of the convention center.”
While all would seem happy with this, if you want the “truther” version of the story, go here. Even we couldn’t get through this endless, wild-eyed exposé of San Diego real estate deals, but it’s a given that someone somewhere is getting screwed over every time a deal like this goes through.
Anyway, this does allow us, for the first time in a while, to get a clear picture of the future of the San Diego Comic-Con:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.