Comic-Con International is staying in San Diego, and a press conference is scheduled for Friday at the San Diego Convention Center where local leaders will symbolically wipe the worried sweat from their collective brow and pat one another on the back for saving the day and keeping the civic bonanza in the city where it was born more than 40 years ago.
But was there every really a chance that Comic-Con was going to pack up its cape and leave? I suppose it was possible, but to my eyes, much of the public hand-wringing was pure kabuki. This was about getting a better deal, not planning a divorce.
Downtown Los Angeles simply doesn’t have enough hotel rooms to compete with San Diego. Anaheim — well, I can just imagine how thrilled all the other Hollywood studios would be if Disney essentially got home-field advantage as far as the venue where upcoming special-effects films and animated movies come to flirt with the public. Las Vegas? Sure, maybe, but Comic-Con is the big dog in San Diego and treated as such. In Sin City, the signature pop-culture expo in America would be just another weekend in a town where the neon never dims.
Here’s the press releases from Comic-Con organizers:
Comic-Con International: San Diego (Comic-Con), the largest comics convention of its kind in the world, today announced it will be staying in San Diego for the foreseeable future.
Comic-Con reached a self-imposed attendance limit at the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) in 2007 and has had to cap attendance at approximately 125,000 people each year since. In looking at ways to better accommodate the growing demand from attendees and exhibitors, the nonprofit organization considered proposals for a move to larger facilities in Los Angeles or Anaheim after the expiration of its SDCC lease in 2012. This decision keeps Comic-Con in San Diego through 2015.
“We are grateful for the tireless efforts all three cities put into to their proposals,” said David Glanzer, Comic-Con’s director of marketing and public relations. “In the end, we feel this decision is the best for all those who attend Comic-Con and for the organization itself. We are happy that the community has worked with us to ensure that we remain here.”
Comic-Con was first held in 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel, where it attracted 300 people. As the event grew, subsequent homes included the downtown El Cortez Hotel in the 1970s and the San Diego Convention and Performing Arts Center in the 1980s. Comic-Con moved to the then newly built SDCC in 1991. Comic-Con celebrated its 41st year in 2010. The San Diego Convention Center Corporation has scheduled a press conference for Friday, October 1 at 11:45 a.m. at Lobby E of the convention center.
See you next summer in San Diego.
– Geoff Boucher
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