INDIANAPOLIS - One of the state’s biggest conventions officially begins in downtown Indianapolis today. Gen Con, which moved to the Circle City in 2003, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend. The four day event, which saw over 60,000 people from around the globe and brought in $71 million in economic impact in 2016, is a complete sellout this year. The first in its history.

Visit Indy Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Chris Gahl says his team has been planning for Gen Con 50 for more than a year.

"This year's event will have record setting attendance, and record setting economic impact," said Gahl. "Gen Con 50 will be bigger and better than any year in its 50 year history and the biggest here out of the last 15 years in Indianapolis."

Based on current projections, Visit Indy says it is anticipating a 4-6 percent increase in revenue, especially with the addition of more exhibitors and more sponsors. 

Not only is the actual event completely sold-out, but so are hotel rooms in the Greater Indianapolis area, forcing many Gen Con goers to find lodging in cities across the state.

"Gen Con is a virtual sellout of all 33,000 hotel rooms in the MSA. Whether it's Bloomington, Lafayette or Fort Wayne, people are gobbling up hotel rooms because they can't get them in central Indiana," said Gahl. "That is a good problem to have."

Gahl says this weekend is a perfect example of why Indianapolis should continue to look at expanding the Convention Center, as well as building more hotels in the downtown area, so a convention like Gen Con will grow and thrive in Indianapolis. 

Gen Con festivities officially kick off today at 10 a.m. and will run through Sunday.