Comic-Con plans permanent exhibit in San Diego Hall of Champions

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - While the future of San Diego Comic-Con International is somewhat unknown pending the debate over how to - if at all - expand the city's convention center, a permanent exhibit for the pop culture convention is coming to the San Diego Hall of Champions.

The Breitbard Hall of Fame, founded by the legendary Bob Breitbard to recognize significant athletic Petco Park's Western Metal Supply Co. building. The new display will feature 153 inductee plaques on the building's main concourse, the main pathway for visitors walk through the building.

Taking the Hall of Fame's place in Balboa Park will be the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture. 

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"The Hall of Champions has our deepest appreciation in helping us to achieve this new chapter in Comic-Con history," a Comic-Con spokesperson said. "This center will provide a year-round interactive celebration of the innumerable aspects of popular art."

The San Diego Hall of Champions will continue to hosts athletic ceremonies and community programs as they have in the past.

Many of the historical items featured in the Breitbard exhibit, including "Bob's Office," will be housed at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

"My father would be thrilled with this opportunity to move the Breitbard Hall of Fame to Petco Park to usher in the next phase of the Hall of Champions," Gayle Klusky, Breitbard’s daughter and Hall board member, said. "Dad set out to better San Diego and inspire San Diegans to reach their potential, and this new model will only allow us to more effectively fulfill and advance our mission and perpetuate his legacy."

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Construction on the new Breitbard Hall of Fame is expected to be completed during the San Diego Padres' 2017 season.

Bob Breitbard played football at San Diego State University before later coaching the freshman team at the school. He went on to establish the Breitbard Athletic Association in 1946 to honor local high school, amateur and professional athletes, which later gave way to the Breitbard Hall of Fame.

Breitbard was a former owner of the San Diego Rockets (the National Basketball Association's 1967 expansion team before they relocated to Houston), and the San Diego Gulls. He was also considered a driving force behind the construction of the San Diego Sports Arena. 

Breitbard, a high school classmate and close friend of fellow local legend Ted Williams, died in 2010 at the age of 91.

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Fans of the yearly pop culture convention have grown worried in recent years over whether a possible expansion to the San Diego Convention Center will occur to continue housing the event. Comic-Con organizers have said in past years that an expansion to the center is needed in order to continue holding the event in the city.

Comic-Con is currently contracted to continue in San Diego through 2018.

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