KPBS.org reports that the task force assigned to determine the future of a planned expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, has approved the expansion. They decided that the $750 million project was feasible and would have a positive impact on the region. How to pay for the project?
The task force presents several options for paying for the expansion including an increase in city or county sales taxes, an increase in the taxes charged for hotel rooms and creating a special taxing district around the convention center. Critics of the project call it too expensive and say expansions rarely live up to expectations. The task force will meet on Monday to issue its official recommendation.
The expansion is, of course, VITAL to the future of the San Diego Comic-Con, as other cities were vying for its business, and the show had maxed out on space, leaving revenues and attendance flat despite the ever-increasing demand for its marketing platform. While the bigger con center is good news, the idea of an even BIGGER San Diego is daunting, to say the least, and just thinking about it, we’ve run out to purchase a flare gun, orthopedic shoes, a backpack full of MREs and some Depends.
UPDATE: We’ve begun going through the 78 page draft report and it’s the Dead Sea Scrolls for all convention center Kremlinology, with charts, graphs, and a strong repudiation of the idea that Comic-Con doesn’t sell out every hotel room within a few hours travel. (An anti-expansion consultant mentions this canard.) The entire report online mentions Comic-Con once, in that regard, painting the expansion as something that would benefit the community in adding opportunities for other shows across the board, not just the nerds. Probably a good idea as far as selling it to the locals goes.
But the problem remains…PAYING FOR IT. It’s up to the mayor to figure that one out, and SD taxpayers aren’t likely to be eager to foot the bill.