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Gen Con fans gear up for sold-out 50th event

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — If you’re starting to see wizards and superheroes walk the streets of downtown Indy, it can only mean one thing: Gen Con.

Gen Con is Indiana’s largest convention and it kicks off Thursday morning at the Indianapolis Convention Center. On Wednesday, however, plenty of people were making their way downtown.

It’s the 50th year for the convention, which has been held in Indianapolis for 15 years. For the first time ever, the biggest gaming event of its kind, is sold out.

Costume clad visitors began arriving in Indy a day early.

“We’ve been planning since last year to come. Then we had two openings in our car, so dragged these two along with me,” said Rachel Rauschenberger from Pittsburgh.

On Wednesday, the halls of the Convention Center were busy as vendors lined up and waited to set up their booths. Visitors can expect 19,000 events to chose from and more than 500 gaming exhibitors.

A group of people from Pointy Hat Games was setting up shop in hopes of selling a card came they created.

“It’s easy enough. You can teach it in five minutes and play it in 10,” said the game’s creator, Patrick Demo.

According to Chris Gahl of Visit Indy, a record number of visitors are expected.

“There are attendees from all 50 states, all Canadian provinces and also more than 60 countries descending on Indianapolis for four days,” Gahl said.

Last year, Gen Con brought in $70 million for the city, according to Gahl. This year, it’s expected to bring in more.

Rauschenberger said, “We’re going to try and get deals. It’s not going to work, but we’re going to try.”

All 33,000 downtown hotels and those within I-465 are sold out.

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