While the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the construction of a $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which houses the annual fanfest, the new building won’t likely be ready for use until 2018.
Officials behind the project — and those that oppose it — say the plans still face legal hurdles which will delay the groundbreaking.
San Diego is looking to expand the 2.6 million square foot center with 719,300 square feet of exhibition space, meetings rooms, ballroom and rooftop park.
The expansion is seen as critical not only to keep Comic-Con in the city, but other events which have outgrown the convention center that opened in 1989.
The city is eager to keep Comic-Con, used by Hollywood as a promotional platform for films, TV shows and videogames, given that the event pumps as much as $180 million into the local economy each year, officials have said.