The San Diego Comic-Con International – the world’s biggest and best comic book/movies/sci-fi/fanboy-snagging/we could go on convention – might not be the San Diego Comic-Con International for much longer.
That’s if tourism officials from Anaheim have their way. The Californian city has confirmed that it has lodged a bid to move Comic-Con from its San Diego home, where it’s been since its inception in 1970, to the home of Disneyland.
And it’s not the only city trying to break apart an association that has, for Empire at least, become utterly indelible. Las Vegas and Los Angeles are also in the running to lure Comic-Con over when its contract with the San Diego Convention Centre runs out in 2012.
All three cities are citing larger convention centre space and more (not to mention cheaper) hotel rooms as key components of their packages. After all, Comic-Con has been bursting at the seams for a few years now. The Convention Centre in the city, situated by the harbour, can only hold 125,000 people over the Con’s four (five, if you include Preview Night) days, and there’s no room for expansion. Yet.
For, with Comic-Con representing a huge economic bump for San Diego, the city isn’t ready to let go of its jewel in the crown. According to The Hollywood Reporter, hotels around the convention centre have offered 300,000 feet of convention space to the event free of charge, while the number of hotel rooms on offer could double to 14,000. Given the troubles Empire has already had securing a room this year – an experience shared, no doubt, by thousands – this would be a good thing.
The hope would be that this improvised expansion of the Convention Centre’s facilities and scope – which has already begun, with a Twilight: New Moon press conference taking place last year at the Hilton Bayfront hotel – would allow the event to remain in San Diego until the Convention Centre is expanded, which should happen by 2015.
While the thought of Comic-Con detaching itself from San Diego would be tremendously sad – there’s a character about the city that would be lost in Vegas or LA, although Anaheim might be a different story – it’s certainly not unthinkable. It’s a fact of life that franchises can move in the States – the New York Yankees began life as the Baltimore Orioles, for example – and it would seem that Comic-Con is considering the move.
"We love San Diego. The majority of the people who put the show on live here," Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer told The Hollywood Reporter. "But we have to make a decision that's based on what really is best for the event."
Let’s hope that’s not as ominous as it sounds. There’s no word yet on when a decision will be taken.