INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It’s the second largest convention in the city this year, surpassed only by NRA.
GenCon returns to Indianapolis on Thursday, for its 47th annual convention. The banners are going up, and the gamers are slowly arriving. John Osborne is already in town.
“Well I plan my whole year around it. It’s kind of like nerd mecca for us,” Osborne said.
Gen Con’s been calling Indianapolis home since 2003.
“Gen Con will monopolize nearly every single square inch of the expanded Indiana Convention Center,” said Visit Indy’s Chris Gahl.
While they play games here, they spend real money. Visit Indy estimates Gen Con will have a $49 million economic impact.
“They had record setting attendance with 49,000 people coming to Indianapolis last year. All signs are that that record will be broken again this year,” Gahl said.
Gen Con has filled all the downtown hotels and spread out to the suburbs. Big business for big businesses. But it’s also big business for small businesses like Downtown Comics, just off Monument Circle.
“This was just released last Friday. It sells for $50. It’s a hardback book. Is it hard to sell it? Oh no, it will be sold out by the weekend,” Doug Stephenson of Downtown Comics said while holding the latest players handbook for Dungeons and Dragons.
Stephenson said during Gen Con weekend he has extended hours, staying open until 10 p.m.
“Oh perfect fit. Yep, every year this is our busiest week of the year downtown,” Stephenson said.
One of the hot new games Gen Con gamers can’t wait to buy is called “Hero Clicks,” and Downtown Comics has it in stock.
Stepheno Chester, the European Champion of the game stopped by to see it. He said he can’t wait for the games to begin.
“For Gen Con, imagine all the things you like crunched together but 10 times the size. It’s, oh my goodness,” Chester said.
Gen Con is signed to 2020 for Indianapolis. But Chris Gahl said, the Visit Indy team hopes to keep the gamers coming back long after that.
Gen Con officially opens Thursday. There will be events outside the convention center, including some that begin Wednesday evening on Georgia Street.
For more details on Gen Con and how to purchase tickets, click here.