The headline in a New York Times story this morning (July 28) is "Large Crowds Spend Little at Comic-Con." The story — written by two reporters with help from a third — quotes a panelist saying that the big event is "driven by passion — it isn't really driven by money."
"Nobody is buying much," says the Times, saying that per capita spending is about one-third of the per capita spending by those at the American Association for Cancer Research gathering in April and "lower than per-person spending at the next three largest conventions in San Diego." Says the Times, "At Comic-Con, dining out is apt to mean eating a sandwich while squatting on a city street."
But, as the saying goes, "Which newspaper d'ya read?"
The Union-Tribune this morning says that Comic-Con visitors "loaded up on purchases of exclusive collectibles." On the editorial page, cartoonist Steve Breen draws a massive individual next to a wee person labeled "San Diego." The massive thing is labeled "Comic-Con Revenue" and the San Diegan is saying, "The Incredible Hulk."
San Diego plans to expand its convention center, despite a huge glut of space nationally. It is no secret that the major objective for the expansion is to accommodate Comic-Con in future years. San Diegans need to know if this annual event generates enough spending to justify the expansion. However, the Convention Center's statistics can't be trusted.