It Is Time For Comic-Con To Find A New Home

Having attended San Diego Comic-Con roughly 4 times since 2000, the growth of the pop culture extravaganza has been unlike anything seen before. It has given birth to an overcrowded con season, studios prepping specifically for conventions, and a spike in genre programming across television, cable, and streaming platforms.

The first Comic-Con, called the Golden State Comic Book Convention, was held in a hotel in 1970 and attended by less than 1,000 visitors.  45 years later and the event has grown into a behemoth that sees 100,000 + attendees regularly since 2005.  SDCC currently occupies the San Diego Convention Center, a sprawling venue right outside downtown San Diego that covers about 5 city blocks, and even that isn’t enough space.  The past few years have seen the event spread to nearby hotels, movie theaters, and even using the nearby Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres) for events. If you haven’t made the decision to go when tickets go on sale, you aren’t going.  The past few years have bought consternation from CCI (the parent organization of the event) and attendees because of long wait lines, peak hotel prices, and the logistics of getting 100,000 plus people into a city with a population of about 1.3 million people. There has been talk of moving the event, and now that is a very real possibility as the current agreement goes until 2018, but a city resolution being voted on may halt expansion of the convention center, which may lead to the event leaving the only home it has known for 45 years, and it should.

San Diego is a great city and part of the experience is enjoying what the city has to offer, but the event has grown beyond what San Diego is capable of.  Outside cries of “tradition”, there is no logical reason the event to stay in a place that can no longer support it and here are some great alternatives.

 

Las Vegas

Comic-Con to Las Vegas
Photo: Las Vegas Convention Center

Conventions and parties, that’s what Vegas does. Hosting everything from Star Trek Celebration to Britney Spears, Vegas is a solid choice. No more worrying about hotel space or lack of entertainment options not convention related, the city presents a unique venue and may also widen the audience. The space Las Vegas provides can give the event a place to breathe and using satellite locations is easily manageable. Also, who doesn’t want to see Elvis meet Sailor Moon, then sit down at the blackjack tables with Boba Fett?

 

Anaheim

Comic Con Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim Convention Center
Photo: ACC

Already hosting Wonder Con (another event run by CCI) which moved from San Francisco in 2011, Anaheim is trying to position itself as a destination for conventions, special events, and being known for something other than Disney Land. Recently completing a large scale expansion it is now the largest exhibit space on the west coast and hosted Star Wars Celebration in 2015.

 

Los Angeles

Comic Con to LA?
Los Angeles
Photo: LA Tourism Board

The most logical choice on paper, but also from a convenience and logistical point of view.  DC has recently moved their whole operation to Burbank, and Marvel Studios operates there as well. The city knows how to handle large scale events, and handling Comic-Con would be a breeze when compared to events like the Academy Awards. It also makes getting studios and stars of attendees favorite shows easier to get as everything is right there.

 

Change is hard for the fandom, but change is necessary for growth and Comic-Con moving to a place better suited to handle that growth is going to make it better for attendees and all involved

 

Agree? Disagree? Want to freeze me in carbonite?  Let me know in the comments

Mat Douglas
Mat Douglas
From Connecticut, that state between New York and Massachusetts, he enjoys well-made cookies, sarcasm, and Liverpool FC.

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