An image of a group of Comic-Con attendees walking through a large well-lit room with large windows in the background. A Comic-Con sign hangs in the center of the image.

Comic-Con is Back!

Next week, the world’s premier pop culture event returns to the San Diego Convention Center. Following two summers without an in-person event, Comic-Con International: San Diego will once again unite comic book fans, cosplayers, and pop culture enthusiasts from every fandom around the world.

In 2019, Comic-Con attracted more than 135,000 attendees and generated a regional economic impact of approximately $150 million

Comic-Con 2022 will run from Thursday, July 21, through Sunday, July 24, with preview night on Wednesday, July 20. Attracting a sold-out crowd of attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and media, Comic-Con is routinely our highest-attended event each year.

In 2019, the event brought more than 135,000 attendees and generated a regional economic impact of approximately $150 million. Visitor spending on restaurant, bars, hotels, attractions, and transportation is just a piece of this estimate; the impact also extends to the many businesses involved in an event of this scale—photographers, florists, printers, design firms, media companies, and so much more.

an overhead view of 5th avenue in downtown San Diego's

Over the coming days, the San Diego Convention Center will transform into the “home away from home” our longtime Comic-Con guests have missed these past few years.

Our colleagues will set up thousands of chairs, prepare tens of thousands of hot dogs, and clean hundreds of thousands of square feet of space throughout the building. At the same time, spaces across downtown will dress up, quite literally, with themed wraps adorning many of the surrounding high-rises. Downtown will be a veritable multiverse of pop-up parties, thematic bars, and immersive experiences. The fun even extends to the San Diego Central Library, the location of the free Comic Conference for Educators & Librarians.

“You can already see and feel the excitement here in San Diego. The enthusiasm of everyone involved—from the event‘s leadership to attendees to those working the event—is truly unparalleled,” said Rip Rippetoe, President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center. “Our full team of superheroes will be masked, suited up, and ready for action!”

A group of Cosplayers attending the Comic-Con Special Edition in November 2021. Costumes include Marevel characters Moon Knight and Dr Strange among others.

Pictured: Cosplayers at Comic-Con Special Edition, a smaller gathering that took place last November.

In support of the health and safety of all participants, Comic-Con has announced COVID-19 protocols for the event. Participants will be required to wear face coverings and provide verification of full COVID-19 vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours. Comic-Con's website has specifics and a guide to COVID-19 verification wrist banding times and locations.

The Start of a Big Year Ahead

July is also the start of our new fiscal year, which we anticipate being our first full year of event activity since 2019. The major events we’re hosting this month—the Esri User Conference, Comic-Con 2022, Transplant Games, and Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, among others—contribute to these forecasted annual figures:

A graphic showing data for the economic impact which San Diego Convention Center activity has on the city.

For more on Comic-Con: See this announcement about the temporary Harbor Drive closure and public access to the San Diego Bay during the event. Visit the Comic-Con website for additional event details

Authored by Maren Dougherty

Maren Dougherty is the San Diego Convention Center's Executive Director of Marketing & Communications. When she isn't writing articles or talking to media, you can find her enjoying San Diego's climate. She loves running through neighborhoods, visiting Balboa Park, and relaxing at San Diego's beautiful beaches.

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  • San Diego Convention Center
    111 W Harbor Drive
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • 619.525.5000