LOS ANGELES (AP) - Storm Troopers, cyborgs, superheroes and other comic-book fans can count on their annual pilgrimage to San Diego for another four years.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced Monday that Comic-Con has extended its contract with the city through 2016. It had been set to expire in 2015.
The pop-culture convention draws 130,000 visitors from around the world and contributes more than $180 million to the city's economy, Sanders said.
Comic-Con began in San Diego in 1970 but has become so popular over the past four decades that it has outgrown the San Diego Convention Center.
Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said city officials and local businesses have helped the event remain in San Diego by allowing organizers to expand beyond the convention center to create a "Comic-Con campus" using meeting space in nearby hotels.
"We were born in San Diego, so our hope is to stay here," Glanzer said. "But first and foremost, we have to look at the ability to put on a successful show and meet the needs of the people who attend the show."
A spokesman for the mayor's office said plans are moving forward to expand the San Diego Convention Center, and city officials hope to break ground on the project next year.