SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Organizers of Comic-Con are facing a tough decision moving forward: keep the convention in San Diego or be lured away by Anaheim or Los Angeles. Some think the event, which started in San Diego 45 years ago, has outgrown the venue and right now plans to expand the convention center are on hold.
It's the "Super Bowl of conventions," according to Mayor Kevin Faulconer who, along with then-council President Todd Gloria, zip-lined into the kick-off for Comic-Con in downtown San Diego in July 2014.
It's a pop culture phenom, unlike any other, that draws more than 130,000 visitors to the area and generates more than $175 million for the local economy every year and while Comic-Con is contractually bound to remain in San Diego through 2016. This "Super Bowl of conventions" clearly has other suitors competing for its business.
"Right now, we're trying to find the best solution,” said Comic-Con Spokesman David Glanzer.
Glanzer confirms that both Anaheim and Los Angeles have made attractive offers to host Comic-Con, which organizers are still scrutinizing.
"Ideally we'd love to stay in San Diego, but there are issues we still have to address,” added Glanzer.
Issues ranging from hotel room rates to exhibit space.
A long-promised expansion of the San Diego Convention Center hit a major snag last year, when funding for the project was placed on indefinite hold by the courts.
"An expanded convention center would be great, but it hasn't happened yet, so we're moving forward as if it's not going to happen. We'll see what does happen," continued Glanzer.
Jamie Newbold owns Southern California Comics in Kearny Mesa and has been a Comic-Con fan since the 70s. He faithfully exhibits at the convention every year.
“As comic book dealers like me go, LA is not the answer, Anaheim is not the answer,” said Newbold.
But what the answer will be has yet to be revealed.
"The truth is, we'd love to stay in San Diego, if we can make it work then we will. If it doesn't work, then we'll be forced to move,” Glanzer said.
Comic-Con's spokesman could not say when a decision might be made, pointing out that the fact that organizers are still trying to decide indicates how difficult this choice is for them.