The head of one of Indiana’s most lucrative conventions says work continues to lock in Indianapolis as a host city to "potentially be here for a long, long time." Seattle-based Gen Con LLC President David Hoppe, whose organization has held its massive gaming week in Indy since 2003, says the work to make this year’s event bigger and better started at the end of Gen Con 2017. Gen Con, which officially kicks off Thursday and runs through the end of the week, signed a contract in February to stay in Indianapolis through 2022.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Hoppe said Gen Con 2018 is poised to be a potential record-breaker. "We don’t talk about the total number of people (at this point), because there’s so many ways to count it, but based on our early projections, we think this is going to be bigger than last year and could be one of the biggest Gen Cons ever," he said. "We really like Indianapolis and we know we have a big impact here, but it’s a really good symbiotic relationship right now."
Last year’s attendance reached a record of nearly 208,000 and attendee badges sold out before doors opened for the first time in its 50 year history. The bulk of the event is housed at the Indiana Convention Center downtown, but Hoppe says this year will feature an expanded presence at the connected Lucas Oil Stadium, including a new on-field experience that he says will provide a "real wow-factor." The sports venue, he says, will play a big role in future expansion of the event. Also for the first time, Gen Con will be streamed live on Twitch and YouTube channels.