Anaheim wants Comic-Con to go up, up and away from San Diego [UPDATED]

Feb. 24, 2010 | 7:01 p.m.

This from the Associated Press, updating the wire story we had posted here initially…

Disneyland’s hometown is looking for a few good Supermen — along with a couple Klingons and Wookiees — to keep its famous mouse company.

Anaheim tourism officials said Wednesday that they have submitted a proposal to Comic-Con International’s board that would lure the yearly confab of comic book aficionados, sci-fi fans and entertainment industry reps from its longtime San Diego home.

Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau president Charles Ahlers said his city’s larger convention center can offer the growing event more meeting space, a greater number of hotel rooms and cheaper overnight stays.

“It’s hard to unseat a destination that has grown with an organization — we have some of those here in Anaheim,” Ahlers said. “But in reality, if you are at a stagnant point in your growth and you can’t grow any further, you have to look toward the future.”

Comic-Con began 40 years ago and has grown into one of the region’s largest annual conventions, routinely attracting some 125,000 people — many in costume — for sessions with celebrity guests and screeners of the year’s most fanciful coming attractions.

Internal surveys show attendees spend $60 million on lodging, food and transportation during the four-day July event, which is contractually free to leave San Diego’s convention center in 2012.

Anaheim’s bid for the convention joins a similar effort to lasso the lucrative event by Los Angeles, leaving San Diego shaking in its boots.

Hotels near San Diego’s convention center have offered Comic-Con 300,000 square feet of free meeting space and have proposed doubling the number of dedicated convention guest rooms to 14,000 in an attempt to lock in the convention through 2015.

By then, convention center officials hope to have completed a planned expansion that would leave the event with ample space.

“San Diego and Comic-Con go hand in hand like Batman and Robin,” San Diego Convention Center Corp. spokesman Steven Johnson said. “We want to make sure that dynamic duo stays together.”

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer acknowledged that the event has been straining against the limits of its current home and that it is considering whether the San Diego proposal would assuage those concerns.

“We love San Diego. The majority of the people who put the show on live here,” said Glanzer, who did not know when a venue would be chosen. “But we have to make a decision that’s based on what really is best for the event.”

— Associated Press


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11 Responses to Anaheim wants Comic-Con to go up, up and away from San Diego [UPDATED]

  1. luckypaul says:

    Please use the great power of Hero Complex to stop this from happening! If the Con moves to Anaheim it will entirely lose its soul and become all about movies and games. The only reason to go to Anaheim is to get bigger-and the Con is already too big!!!

  2. CTNM says:

    Yes, please come to Anaheim!

  3. Nathan says:

    Please keep it in San Diego, they have so many better attractions there and much better weather. I have a blast when I go down to SD. Anaheim is ugly.

  4. Jesse F. says:

    Anaheim is NOT part of Los Angeles County, it is in ORANGE county. I can't stand when people mix this up.

  5. JoeBones says:

    To move the Comic-con to Anaheim is not only ridiculous but out of the question. The San Diego Convention center is located in one of the prettiest and tourism friendliest areas in all of southern California. The Con won't leave San Diego for Hell A.

  6. Nate says:

    People mix up the OC and LA county because its the same. No mountains or rivers to separate the two. San Fernando Valley should be a separate county.
    Although the 5 Freeway is 10 times better in the OC
    LA Angels?

  7. eeshell says:

    Please bring it to Anaheim! San Diego is nice but Anaheim offers the best of both worlds. Beaches close by and a bigger marketplace, without the craziness of LA.

  8. Hanny says:

    Maybe this will get SD hotels to rethink their room pricing. The cost of a room is ridiculous!

  9. Alex says:

    Much as I'm sure San Diego has been a great home for the convention, the fact remains it's still something like a 3-hour drive from Greater Los Angeles, which is where most of the actors, studios, etc. are based and the big comic companies have power centers there too. Just from a logistical perspective of bringing industry people (actors and otherwise) to the event, having it closer to LA, whether in that city itself or Anaheim, just makes sense. New York's version of Comic Con isn't held in Albany – it's held right where the action is.

  10. sal says:

    this is one of those, Good Ideas, bad Ideas.
    Good Idea: Closer
    Bad Idea: Traffic,
    its in Anahiem/Disney
    SDCC has grown too big for itself. A bigger place is ideal, but what cost? Vegas sounds like a better pick over all…I mean, the ease to get there, and all the space they have…

  11. Lisa says:

    TheWrap's Brent Lang and Dominic Patten have some good
    arguments for moving fan-fest Comic-Con out of San Diego and into the
    larger Anaheim Convention Center.
    Check it out here.
    And let us know if you disagree!

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