San Diego Convention Center Corporation Predicts $1.1 Billion Regional Economic Impact in 2017; Comic-Con Still Top Performer

With the Chargers now moving to Los Angeles, there may be some renewed interest in a San Diego Convention Center expansion — and one of the best cases for such a project is that it continues to attract some huge names (including not only San Diego Comic-Con, but also a slew of medical conferences in 2017), which bring with them money, jobs, and a huge tourism boost to San Diego.

The San Diego Convention Center Corporation has posted their 2017 regional impact forecast for all of the conventions that the San Diego Convention Center hosts, and they’re predicting to generate $1.1 billion in total regional impact this calendar year. For the 2016 calendar year, they predicted $1.2 billion — so the estimate may be a little conservative, or last year’s expected boost may have been helped by the MLB All Stars event.

Of the 109 events scheduled for 2017 – with the possibility of more to be added – San Diego Comic-Con is by far the biggest performer, estimated to have a regional impact of $143,100,000 in 2017 (up $3.1 million from the 2016 forecast). The next biggest regional economic performer is The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, which is estimated to bring in $86,700,000 to the region.

That $143.1 million is shy of the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s $160,000 – $180,000 million economic impact estimation from November 2014, but it’s still a huge boost for the city. It’s also possible that this study isn’t taking into account the few thousand people who flock to the city every year during the convention for other, offsite events, even without a Comic-Con badge.

Here’s a look at the Top Economic Generators, from the 2017 Forecast:

With SDCC’s current contract with the San Diego Convention Center only set through 2018, and lots of recent setbacks in any expansion plan, findings like this one are important for helping to prove to to San Diego at large that Comic-Con is worth fighting for.

You can read the full study on the San Diego Convention Center’s site.

Are you surprised by any of this information? Let us know in the comments.

About Kerry Dixon

Kerry Dixon is Editor-in-Chief of The San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog and the site's resident panel guru.