Home News Business News Con Report Part 3: San Diego convention center gets more land

Con Report Part 3: San Diego convention center gets more land


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:


  1. I like the notion that the “7-acre tract out in back of the existing Convention Center has been given to the SDCC by the SD Port commission” means the land has been given directly to San Diego Comic-Con.

  2. Mmm… that’s one juicy blog! (The truthier version.) Carnival trying to move to a posh waterfront berth, people ignoring laws…

    According to that blog, the land that juts into the water, that’s not part of the deal, and can be developed into a hotel.

    As for convention centers, I’ve always wondered why they aren’t vertical. Land is always a concern (unless the Center is away from the city center, like Hannover, Germany). In a high-rise, people can be moved more efficiently with escalators and elevators. Meeting rooms, dining, ballrooms, and other services can be placed above the exhibition halls, utilizing the footprint more efficiently. Small exhibition halls, designed to heavier loads in a separate tower, would allow for private exhibitions with flexible hours. Like an office building, each floor could be rented separately for parallel events.

    Geez… maybe they should move the Con to Hannover… over 5.3 million square feet, AND the largest trade fair beer hall and restaurant in the world (seats 3200). Easy subway, train, and automobile access, nearby national cartoon museum, local brewery, chocolate, AND art supply companies (Gilde, Sprengel, Pelikan). Google “CeBIT” to see what CCI:Europa could be…

  3. nice vid. But re: the expansion area…that seems to just cover current concerns, does it really cover what the future may hold?

  4. Okay— so Step 1 is done. All that’s left is Step 2: getting the SD taxpayers to go along with the Developers plans, and Step 3:
    actually building the thing.

    Considering the history of the how that Convention Center was built, PETCO stadium, and that always-been-promised new Downtown Library… I’m thinking Steps 2 and 3 will take a liiiitle more time.

    Time that’s not going to be there before the current CCI contract with the Convention Center expires in 2012— nor the (now most likely certain) extension that’ll carry it to 2015.

    But at least those SD Politicos *heart* the Comic-Con, right?

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