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San Diego Convention Center gets land to expand

April 6, 2010 |  3:51 pm

  Convention center

The San Diego Convention Center won approval Tuesday to acquire six acres of adjacent land, helping it move forward with a long-sought expansion plan.

The Unified Port of San Diego authorized the transfer of the land at a price of $13.5 million, paid over a five-year period.

In recent years, the convention center has had to turn away hundreds of gatherings and events because of a lack of meeting space.

Organizers of Comic-Con, a pop culture celebration and one of San Diego's largest conventions, have suggested they may relocate after 2012 because the festival has outgrown the 615,700-square-foot convention center.

To keep conventions such as Comic-Con, San Diego officials have proposed a plan to add 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, 100,000 square feet of meeting rooms, 80,000 square feet of multi-purpose ballrooms and 40,000 square feet of bay-front retail space. Convention officials said they hope to complete the expansion by 2015.

"While there is more work to be done before we can break ground, today's action is a critical step forward," San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Crowds gather for Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center. Credit: Los Angeles Times