SAN DIEGO (CBS) — The popular culture convention Comic-Con International will stay in San Diego for at least the next five years, it was reported today.

The decision to keep Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center is set to be announced at a news conference Friday.

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Both Los Angeles and Anaheim had submitted bids to try to lure the convention, which annual draws more than 125,000 people over its four-day run, to leave San Diego.

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer told the The San Diego Union-Tribune there was always a “desire to stay in San Diego.”

“It’s never been a secret we’d hoped to stay here, but the real challenge was that those who want to attend the event can afford to attend, in terms of size and space and cost,” Glanzer told the Union-Tribune.

Representatives of the San Diego Convention Center and mayor’s office could not be reached for comment on news that convention willl be staying put.

Comic-Con has been held in San Diego since it started as a comic book fair in 1970. It has since grown into one of the premier popular culture events, featuring hundreds of exhibits, celebrity appearances, Hollywood film premiers and industry panels.

A recent report found that Comic-Con brings almost $163 million annually to San Diego’s economy.

In an effort to keep the show in San Diego, officials offered to use $500,000 in hotel taxes to pay for Comic-Con shuttle service around downtown. Plans are also under way to expand the San Diego Convention Center so that it can better accommodate large conventions like Comic-Con.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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