INDIANAPOLIS — The largest tabletop gaming convention in North America is returning to downtown Indianapolis.
Gen Con will take place this weekend, Aug. 3-6, at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. It will celebrate 20 years of conventions hosted in Indy since 2003.
Visit Indy expects the convection to bring in around 65,000 people. Leveling back up to pre-pandemic numbers and getting close to the record set in 2019.
”I think it’s telling us that people are glad to be back,” said Gen Con Spokesperson Stacia Kirby.
Gen Con 2023 will feature a sold-out exhibit hall with over 19,000 events, including board games, card games, entertainment, and a wide range of activities catering to gamers and pop-culture fans of all ages. Fan-favorite games and events returning this year include Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, the Costume Contest, the Film Festival, and more.
The convention has also shed some post-pandemic era rules.
”We did not have a policy this year where you had to be vaccinated, last year we did, so we took that off this year,” said Kirby.
The festivities aren’t just inside the convection center, the Gen Con Block Party is expected to packed. It’s usually on Georgia St., but due to construction and crowd size it was moved this year.
”We grew it, added some entertainment and bumped it over to South Street right outside of Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Nate Swick with Visit Indy.
Visitors can be seen across Indy, packing restaurants and staying in hotels. Swick said all of this adds up to an estimated $69.8 million in economic impacts for the weekend.
Looking toward the future, Visit Indy has Gen Con on the books through 2026 but is lookinng to keep the partnership going.
”We look to grow with them and we look to grow their group in attendance numbers,” said Swick.
Part of that growth is the construction on the Pan Am Plaza, a 40-story, 800 room Signia by Hilton Hotel. The project will also expand the Indiana Convention Center.
”We’re very excited about what they’re going to be doing with that property and adding more hotel rooms,” Kirby said. “Which I’m sure the Gen Con attendees will be a wonderful thing for them.”
Badges and event registration are available for purchase. Here is a detailed list of badge prices:
- Four-day badge – $135
- Thursday badge – $70
- Friday badge – $70
- Saturday badge – $85
- Sunday badge – $17
- Trade Day – $235
- Gen Con Online-Only – free
Single-day badges start at $17; kids ten and under are free with an adult badge. Badges are expected to sell out, and Gen Con is asking anyone interested in joining the fun to buy their badges before Thursday morning.