By Laura Haefeli

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Convention Center is back and better than ever, welcoming back crowds this weekend for an anime festival.

“It’s home, everybody has a little bit of a nerd side,” said Raechel Hooper.

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Hooper was dressed up for SacAnime’s first gathering since it was canceled by COVID-19.

“It feels amazing I’m so happy that it’s back,” said Abby Dibble.

She said the convention center is more spacious and better than ever.

“It’s a lot nicer, much more roomy,” she said

Sacramento’s SAFE Credit Union Convention Center underwent a $180 million renovation and expansion.

“The overall facility, it got a great facelift,” said Joe Deas, the voice of SacAnime.

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Breaking ground two and half years ago, the buildings added a whole new floor.

“The biggest changes are big halls upstairs,” Deas said.

The SacAnime weekend is expected to bring in $6 million in revenue to the region.

“Hotels, our restaurants, our gift shops, all kinds of things,” said Matt Voreyer, general manager of the Sacramento SAFE Credit Union Convention Center.

That’s good for a city that’s lost out on major moneymakers in the last year, and it’s fun for this creative crowd.

“I love being out here with people that also share an interest with me,” Dibble said.

“To be able to come out and share it with everyone again is just wonderful,” Hooper said.

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SacAnime is running through Labor Day weekend and is expecting around 10,000 people in total to attend.