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Cost of a bigger San Diego con: $53 mil a year…for 30 years

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The San Diego Union-Tribune revisits the cost of expanding the SD convention center….and it’s a lot:

A San Diego Convention Center expansion being championed by Mayor Jerry Sanders and the tourism industry got a price tag yesterday – at least $52.5 million a year in new taxes or fees over three decades.

Options being discussed include a $1 to $2 surcharge on San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego admissions, a 1 percent to 3 percent tax on food and drink sales and an increase in the city’s hotel tax from 10.5 percent to as high as 15.5 percent.

Convention center officials want to add 400,000 square feet to the bayfront facility, saying they stand to lose large, lucrative trade shows to cities with bigger exhibit halls.

The poster child for flight risk is Comic-Con International, the San Diego-born pop-culture extravaganza.

$1.5 billion is certainly a lot of moolah…(for comparison, New York’s long-delayed Second Avenue Subway–digging under some of the world’s most expensive real estate–is projected to cost $17 billion over 12 years.)

The rest of the article contains various local civics types who feel the size of the potential fiscal burden is just too much, given these parlous times.

[Thanks to “Spike” for the link.]

  1. It makes a person wonder how much money Comic Con brings in, yearly, and whether the amount lost if they don’t do it would be enough to make up for the amount spent if they do.

  2. What the article is implying is : The San Diego Comic Con is growing too big for the San Diego Convention center…and if the Con continues to grow it might need to look for a site that can handle the growth ( and might be cheaper to boot.)
    Now… SD does a lot of conventions so the expansion wouldn’t be good only for the Comic Con..it was just intersting that the Comic Con was mentioned in the article that appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune. So at least the Tribune realizes the monetary gains the Comic Con brings to the city ( even if the city council doesn’t seem to take it seriously)

  3. “How can the comic industry flounder when the comic convention gets bigger? There’s a serious mis-connect here. ”

    Because most people are not going to SD for comics anymore? More people likely going for all the media stuff.

  4. Mark Coale Says:

    06/16/09 at 8:46 pm
    “How can the comic industry flounder when the comic convention gets bigger? There’s a serious mis-connect here. ”

    Because most people are not going to SD for comics anymore? More people likely going for all the media stuff.

    Yeah, I was gonna say that too. In order to get your money’s worth at Comic-Con, one should almost exclusively avoid the comics part. I’m a fan of the film programming and stuff like that, but that’s mostly the reason it costs so much to go and why there aren’t enough hotel rooms and so on. You end up spending a couple thousand dollars to hopefully enjoy 3 really cool things which you’ve had to fight off hundreds of other hopefuls for the right to experience. It’s practically a masochistic endeavor at this point for attendees.

    On the other hand, it’s still an amazing thing to witness and lots of good fun all around. I won’t consider attending again until The Hobbit could end up on the programming schedule, but good luck to those of you who are going! Hope you have a great time.

  5. I’m hoping that by only going Wednesday for Preview Night and Thursday, I won’t get burned out by everything.

    I also plan to avoid all the media stuff if I can.

  6. I’m still hoping they just move to Vegas in a few years. Obviously from all we read coming out of the area the folks in San Diego itself aren’t entirely thrilled with Comic-con in the first place.

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