By Dustin Beach
INDIANAPOLIS – “The best four days in gaming” has returned to Indianapolis for the 14th time, and this year Gen Con expects to break records.
“After 13 years of hosting Gen Con, it’s clear that Indy gets Gen Con and Gen Con gets Indy,” Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy, said. “Central Indiana’s hospitality community is incredibly appreciative of our partnership with Gen Con.”
Gen Con touts itself as being the “original, longest running” gaming convention. This year’s convention features more than 15,000 events taking place over a four-day weekend. A record number of exhibitors will be featured at this year’s convention, and overall attendance at the event may also be a record. Last year, attendees came from all 50 states, all Canadian provinces and represented more than 54 countries.
“It’s the largest and greatest gathering of gamers, tabletop gamers, strategy gamers in the world,” 26-year-old Tyler Ulsch said. “This weekend has probably the most gaming played at one time.”
Indianapolis reaps the benefits of the increased number of people in the city for the weekend. According to Visit Indy, Gen Con drives more than $67 million in annual activity to the city.
“Gen Con is an important contributor to Indy’s economy, and more importantly, a great partner organization,” says Greg Ballard, former mayor of Indianapolis.
For Ulsch, who drove more than 10 hours from Maryland to get here to his third Gen Con, Indianapolis seems like a good destination for the convention.
“I like Indianapolis, it’s a nice city,” he said. “I’ve only ever been here for Gen Con, but it’s been pretty good the couple times I’ve been here.”
Gen Con 2016 will take place from August 4-7, and will have feature exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center as well as Lucas Oil Stadium.
Dustin Beach is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.