By Alex Dobuzinskis
(Reuters) - Comic-Con International will remain in San Diego through 2018, despite an effort by the city of Los Angeles to attract one of the world's top conventions for comic books and pop culture, officials said on Thursday.
Its roots date back to a 1970 event in San Diego that drew 300 attendees. It is the longest continuously running convention of its kind in the United States, contributing an estimated $136 million to the regional economy.
The annual event, which draws more than 100,000 people, has become increasingly important to Hollywood film studios over the last decade as a platform for announcements tied to superhero and science-fiction film franchises.
Comic-Con had previously only committed to staying in San Diego until 2016, and there had been concerns among city officials that it could move to Los Angeles or Anaheim in Orange County. But under the agreement, the event will stay in San Diego for two more years.
"Fans near and far can rejoice that their favorite superheroes and celebrities will continue to gather under the San Diego sun," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement.
Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said in a statement that his group was pleased to stay in the city where the event has grown up.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in April that WonderCon, a smaller sister event to Comic-Con International, would be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2016. At the time, he expressed hope that the larger event might set up a home base in Los Angeles.
WonderCon was last held in Anaheim.
This year's Comic-Con International will kick off with a preview night on July 8 and continue through July 12.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)