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Surprising Numbers from San Diego’s Comic Con

(Source: Comic Con)

(Source: Comic Con)

    For those of you who don't know,
Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
San Diego's U.S. Grant Hotel was home of the first Comic Con in 1970 where it started a one-day "mini-con" with 300 guests.  It has since evolved into a 4-day event that is attended by famous actors, musicians, and other related professionals from across the globe. These days, Comic Con is hosted in the San Diego Convention Center with attendance of over 130,000 over the course of a long weekend. In fact, cumulatively, Comic Con has hosted 1,840,000 people since it began. As such, the enormity of this event makes it a huge generator of economic activity for the city of San Diego. How huge? Here are a couple numbers and facts that will enlighten you.

 How Much Money Was Generated?

On average, a "comic-conner" spends about $600 throughout their 4 day stay in San Diego. Overall, the projected economic impact this year was 7.8 million with approximately 60,960 hotel rooms booked. Even more incredible are the future prospects of the Convention Center expansion plans. Once completed, it is expected to create 7,000 new permanent jobs resulting in an estimated $13.5 million in additional tax revenue, making the San Diego Convention Center the largest exhibit space on the West Coast. In terms of restaurants, the imp Mike Brown, the co-owner of Tin Fish said that:
[They] do three times what [they would] do in a normal week in July: get two to three deliveries a day, couple of trash pick ups, go through 65 kegs. {They] couldn't tell you how many pounds of fish, but it's a lot. 
Talk about busy.
Oz Comic-Con 2014

Clearly, people go all out with costumes!

Where Does This Money Go?

Mostly, the money goes back into city coffers in the form of sales taxes. However, restaurant owners, servers, taxi services such as Lyft and Uber among others all feel the positive benefits of an event like this. That being said, Comic Con International is actually a non profit organization even though tickets are $45 a day for adults ($180 for the weekend), thus grossing around $23.4 million in ticket sales. As such, the money gets reinvested into the convention itself and is used to pay its staff.

Overall, Comic Con is a huge convention and spearheads summer tourism in San Diego. The numbers and the size of the convention are definitely incredible but has it gotten too big? What would happen if San Diego lost this convention in 2015, when their current lease expires? It seems that the move to expand is a solid investment if it means keeping this convention around, but what do you think? Should the convention be expanded or should the Convention cap out at 130,000? Join the discussion here.

Interested in how huge events like this affect a local economy? Check out the World Cup in Numbers.

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Laurent Hesnard


A cautious but optimistic observer of the market, Laurent enjoys finding investment opportunities that might disrupt their respective industries. He also has a passion for helping others learn about the inner workings of the markets in order to achieve their financial independence. As the Marketing Manager at SprinkleBit, Laurent gets to live out that passion everyday.

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