SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced on Thursday that Comic-Con will remain in San Diego through 2018.

"We signed an agreement through 2018. So, for the next three years Comic-Con is going to be here. It's good news for San Diegans," says Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The Comic-Con's current contract only covered this year and 2016. Faulconer playfully added, "In a couple of weeks, we will start working on a new expansion."

Comic-Con has been an annual local event since it started 45 years ago. The event draws more than 130,000 visitors to the downtown area and generates more than $135 million for the local economy every year. The four-day fan-fest celebrates film, TV, video games, comic books, costumes and other popular arts.

"The more than $135 million Comic-Con pumps into the economy helps support jobs, roads and neighborhood services," Faulconer said at the news conference. "More Superman means more super streets."

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer commented, "We've been able to grow because of the space outside the facility." He also thanked the hotels for opening their ballrooms to create additional space for exhibitors.

Over the years, as attendance and Comic-Con events around downtown have expanded, organizers have been facing a tough decision: keep the fan-fest in San Diego or be lured away by cities like Anaheim or Los Angeles with convention centers that hold larger meeting and exhibit spaces.

Comic-Con has made the San Diego Conventiion Center its home since 1991. It was orignally hosted at the El Cortez Hotel in downtown San Diego during the 1970's, then moving to the Convention and Performing Arts Center in 1979.

This year's Comic-Con will kick off with a preview night on Wednesday, July 8th and goes full force Thursday, July 9th - running through Sunday, July 12th.