The cancellation of Comic-Con will have a huge impact on San Diego’s economy. The event pumps $149.9 million into the regional economy, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority. Some of the businesses that will be affected the most are the bars and restaurants within walking distance of the San Diego Convention Center.
“In my mind, there was a possibility of Comic-Con being this big comeback party for downtown,” said Chad Cline, owner of Werewolf American Pub.
Cline’s business was forced to close down following Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order. He is already suffering huge financial losses and was hoping Comic-Con would help.
“I get the vibe from everybody that they want some sort of normal, and Comic-Con would have been this really fun way of doing that,” Cline said. “Everybody would have been able to dress up, bring that energy, bring that fun energy and it’s not gonna be there anymore."
Not all San Diegans go to Comic-Con, but the event’s financial impact is felt throughout the region.
The San Diego Tourism Authority estimates Comic-Con attendees spend $88 million. $149 million trickles down into the regional economy.
Comic-Con will return in 2021, but all the shop closures in downtown San Diego show the financial pain will likely be felt for a long time.
The hotel industry is also being hit hard by the cancellation of Comic-Con. According to the tourism authority, attendees book 64,800 hotel room nights. Comic-con also brings in $3 Million in hotel and sales tax revenue.