In a unanimous vote yesterday, the California Coastal Commission approved the expansion plan for the San Diego convention center. Sorry, Chargers.
You'll hear people speak vaguely of "keeping large conventions in San Diego" but make no mistake, this was all about Comic-Con. Given the colossal investment demanded by the whole shebang, I think we can safely rule out a Con relocation to LA or Vegas for oh, say, the next decade? Forever? I just can't see San Diego working this hard to keep us around and CCI spitting in the city's face.
Here's what was at the stake: the Chargers wanted to create their own stadium/convention center expansion hybrid several blocks away from the current center. Anyone who's shuffled around the Con in a Storm Trooper costume, or carried bags of books and toys around, knows that idea was just nonsense. The Chargers have been threatening to leave San Diego if their plan didn't go through; I have no idea what they'll do next but as far as I'm concerned, they've now exited this story.
So we can now look forward to - in 4 years or so - another 740,000 square feet of convention space. To put that in perspective, the center currently offers 615,700 square feet of exhibit space, while the Sails Pavilion is 90,000 square feet.
So, no, it won't be enough to accommodate everyone who wants to go to the Con, and I'm not entirely sure where the new hotel rooms will come from to house those extra attendees, and the funding strategy - a hotel room surcharge - is still being challenged in court. But it has to offer some relief from the Con's current limitations.