Indiana News

Gen Con already setting records before it even takes place

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INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana): Gen Con has already set a record, and it isn’t even here yet.

The gaming convention says it will feature a record number of exhibitors this year – 518, up 26-percent from last year. Gen Con already brings 60,000 people to Indy every year, and it might bring more this year now that the convention is expanding into Lucas Oil Stadium. Gen Con already uses large portions of the Indiana Convention Center.

Visit Indy says Gen Con generated $67 million in economic activity for central Indiana last year, and that could be higher with more exhibitors coming to town. The convention also says it will host activities on Georgia Street downtown, including a Sun King Brewery beer garden and food trucks – the convention will take place August 4-7.

Gen Con was among the first conventions to threaten to leave Indy when its contract expired in 2020 after the legislature passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act during the 2015 session. Critics were worried RFRA could be used by business owners to discriminate against the LGBT community. While Gen Con backed off talk of leaving after lawmakers passed what became known as the RFRA “fix” (barring the use of the law in discrimination claims), the convention has not awarded a contract for shows beyond 2020. It is expected to do so this summer.

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