City of Indianapolis, Gen Con agree on extension through 2021

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As Gen Con gets ready to celebrate a milestone, the gaming convention announced it will stay in Indianapolis through 2021.

The longest-running gaming convention in North America inked a one-year extension to keep it in the Circle City. Chris Gahl with Visit Indy said Gen Con and the city have been working on the agreement for the last two years.

The contract includes an option that allows the convention to renew the contract annually.

Gen Con will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017.

“Indianapolis has warmly welcomed Gen Con with its Hoosier hospitality for more than a decade, and we appreciate the city’s commitment to making all of our guests feel at home,” said Adrian Swartout, CEO/Owner of Gen Con. “With Gen Con approaching its 50th convention in 2017, we look forward to celebrating many more historic years in Indy, as well as serving as a hub for a thriving community of Hoosier gamers.”

Gen Con welcomed a record number in 2016, featuring a turnstile attendance of 201,852, a 2.5% year-over-year increase. Guests came to Indy from 64 countries, all 50 states and each Canadian province, the group said. Gen Con expanded into Lucas Oil Stadium last year in response to its continued growth and hosted a record number of exhibitors with 525.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said Indianapolis is proud to be home to Gen Con and appreciates the show’s commitment to Indy.

“This iconic event draws gamers from around the globe, and we look forward to welcoming them year after year with the Hoosier hospitality that we are so well known for,” Hogsett said.

Gen Con moved to Indianapolis in 2003, and its last contract extension was completed in 2011. The annual convention has seen phenomenal growth, with attendance more than doubling from 23,000 unique visitors to more than 61,000.

Visit Indy president and CEO Leonard Hoops estimated that Gen Con generates an estimated $72 million in economic impact for the region.

“Visit Indy, the staffs of the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, our hotel partners, and so many others in Central Indiana’s hospitality community are delighted to have played a role in Gen Con’s growth and success over the past 13 years and we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial partnership through 2021 and beyond,” Hoops said.

Gen Con, which bills itself as the “Best Four Days in Gaming,” is scheduled for Aug. 17 through Aug. 20 for its 50th anniversary event in 2017.

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