Comic-Con to stay in San Diego through 2016

SAN DIEGO -- The operators of the wildly popular Comic-Con convention, which attracts comic book and movie fans from around the world, have agreed to keep the event in San Diego through 2016, officials announced Monday.

Convention officials had previously committed to remain at the San Diego Convention Center through 2015. Mayor Jerry Sanders and Comic-Con officials announced the one-year contract extension at a news conference outside the convention center at about 10:30 a.m. Monday morning.

"It’s a tremendous boom for San Diego," Sanders said. "Having Comic-Con here is the equivalent of having a Super Bowl every year, that’s the impact that they have in the city. Plus they bring international visitors here who come back over and over again."

This summer, the four-day comic and pop culture convention brought in an estimated $180 million to the local economy.

In the last few years, Comic-Con has grown to such a level organizers have had to depend on hotel spaces to hold some of their events. Tourism officials fear Comic-Con will outgrow the San Diego Convention Center and be forced to look for a new home in another city, such as Los Angeles, Anaheim or Las Vegas.

"Having limited space doesn’t allow us to really fulfill our mission as much as we would like," Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said. "Having more space would allow us to accommodate more attendees and more programing.”

“We have to look out for our attendees and our fans to make sure that we make the right decision," Glanzer added. "Right now I think, at least until 2016, San Diego is the right decision.”