The winner of the 2017 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is Gen Con. Not only is the award totally deserved because Gen Con is a fantastically fun convention, but it’s also not so surprising that it was awarded this particular year, the show’s 50th.

Running this weekend in Indianapolis, Gen Con for the first time completely sold out of badges this year. And I hear that after just one day, so have several of the most anticipated new games.

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Gen Con continues to grow, expanding out of the Indiana Convention Center into the Lucas Oil Stadium, using the entire 92,000 square foot football field area for exhibits and game play space. Although unique attendees were down slightly last year when the convention began use of the football stadium, the number of daily attendees increased with more attendees present on multiple days. The 50th anniversary of the convention will see it expanded to the entire field level and two exhibit halls in the stadium. Located on the field will be an “homage construction” approximate-scale replica of the Lake Geneva Horticultural Hall where the first Gen Con took place.

The convention space will use more than 750,000 square feet of the ICC, Lucas Oil Stadium, and the connector space. “It’s the most space ever booked for an Indianapolis connection,” writes the Indianapolis Business Journal. The financial impact of the convention on the city for last year’s convention was between $71 and $72 million dollars, according to Visit Indy, the city’s tourism board. With the increased space and the 50th anniversary celebration, the number of attendees and economical impact on the city is expected to grow.

Gen Con 2017 will be held in August, from the 17th to the 20th.

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