Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Battle For Comic-Con's Future

Well, the fight to house Comic-Con has reached "Keep the Colts in Baltimore" levels.
Facebook is already in the fight thanks to two new pages: one who wants the event to move to Anaheim in 2013, and one who wants the place to stay. There is another that has less fans but the only difference is that it has no exclamation point. I guess that proves the importance of a catchy title in your Facebook page.

So far, the Anaheim page has more people making clear arguments for a move. They claim it's bigger, close to Disneyland, and there are more hotel rooms that won't rip your wallet to shreds. I've never been there, although I will soon. The best thing about San Diego is that there are a lot of places to go and eat in between panels. There's also a CVS and a Ralph's. It was great for me when I first went to Comic-Con, but not when it's getting so crowded.
Those who favor keeping Comic-Con in San Diego rely on tradition. It's been around for 40 years. It's more iconic that the Padres, but not as much as the Chargers. Besides, there's light rail. Anaheim doesn't have that.

I see this as a city hoping to attract a sports franchise who isn't happy with its stadium anymore. I've seen this before with the Raiders going to Los Angeles for a few years, the Colts leaving Baltimore, the Rams leaving L-A, and the Kings leaving Kansas City for Sacramento. Currently, Comic-Con has had to rely on a new hotel for some of its events. Hall H isn't enough anymore, and...well...waiting for panels that attract a modest following is becoming too much like waiting in line at Disneyland for anything.

San Diego officials are aware of the problem. They have asked nearby hotels to add more available space while they try to get the center expanded...and that may be easier said that done. They know Comic-Con means Ewoks, Zombies, Slayers and such in bars and restaurants..and that also means money. They want Comic-Con to stay in San Diego.
But, as Walter O'Malley decided Ebbets Field was just too small and antiquated for his Dodgers more than 50 years ago, Comic-Con officials may look at the San Diego Convention Center the same way. Besides, while San Diego may try to expand its facilities, just moving will get that extra space immediately. Thus, we may have to practice saying Anaheim Comic-Con in 2013.

Personally, I think moving to the Los Angeles Convention Center would be a perfect compromise. It's also big, and you can use the subway, which is better than you think, to get there. It also widens the number of convenient hotel spaces a lot...and who wouldn't like to use the Nokia Theater as the new Hall H? Maybe by 2013they can also add a few fast food places, too.

We may know for sure just after Wondercon ends next week. At least the Moscone Center in San Francisco is still big enough for that event.

1 comment:

Marsia said...

If it moves to Los Angeles or Anaheim, over half the attendee won't have to pay for hotel rooms, they'll just go home @night. The section of town for the LA con center is a high crime area plus transportation isn't 24hr.
Ya know, maybe CCI needs to stay the same size it is. It doesn't have to be bigger.