“Probably not, but maybe” is the short answer to the question in the headline. The event known once upon a time as the Golden State Comic Book Convention has been in San Diego for over four decades now, and since 2000, it has rapidly grown into an essential event on the pop-culture calendar, bringing massive crowds to the city and essentially turning all of downtown San Diego into a geek mega-festival.
The Comic-Con organizers are currently contracted to stay in the San Diego convention center through 2016. But from there, it gets a bit hazy.
The city of San Diego was planning a massive expansion of the Convention Center, possibly because the city was frustrated that it couldn’t get into this year’s American Horror Story panel. But the expansion plan required a tax on the hotels in the area — a tax that was struck down earlier this month by the Fourth District Court of Appeal. Now, THR reports that the San Diego City Council will not appeal that ruling. That decision would appear to scotch any expansion of the Convention Center.
You could almost imagine Comic-Con as a sports team, coming up on the end of its lease, with lots of other cities ready and willing to host the event. Part of the intrinsic appeal for the major Hollywood studios is the close proximity to Los Angeles—would they like Comic-Con even more if it was just in Los Angeles, or somewhere nearby? Las Vegas already hosts major conventions—and wouldn’t the madness of Comic-Con make more sense in Vegas than in downtown San Diego, which gets overstuffed on Comic-Con day one and basically just turns into a gigantic human mob by day three? Maybe Comic-Con could just partner up with Burning Man?
The official word from Comic-Con International is that they’d prefer to stay in San Diego—and presumably, nobody wants to rock the boat of a generally successful convention. Still, no expansion means that those long lines won’t go away anytime soon.