Anime Vice News

The Battle for Comic Con International Continues

Could Comic Con move to Anaheim in 2013?

I don't know how many of you guys keep up on convention news-- especially for Comic Con International, one of the world's largest pop-culture events (though Japan's Comiket dwarfs it), but it's been very interesting to watch things of late as Comic Con execs decide something very basic: where will the con be held?

Comic Con International has played out in San Diego ever since its first year in 1970-- it's even somewhat mistakenly referred to by most as "San Diego Comic Con," which isn't its official name --and the San Diego Convention Center has repeatedly expanded primarily to house the event, which had nearly 140,000 attendees in 2009. 

And another such expansion is required as the show gets bigger and much so that the Anaheim Convention Center, former home to Anime Expo (and I'd personally like to hope future home as well!), has offered a bid for the event that is seen as plausible, once the show's contract with the San Diego Convention Center is up (after the 2012 event). As Anaheim is so close to Disneyland there's already a lot of tourist-focused business going on (read: lots of hotel rooms), and it's not so far from San Diego that it would be a huge upheaval for most of the would-be attendees. Anaheim certainly loves the idea.

But word from Variety is that San Diego has issued a counter-offer: the Tourism Marketing District has agreed to budget $100 grand per year for a five-year period specifically for Comic-Con, to be extractedf rom hotel tax revenue. It's unclear exactly what this would be spent on-- the convention center expansion? More parking and public transit for the event? --but will Comic-Con International be willing to turn down $500,000, or will the possibilities of expansion in Anaheim outweigh that?

Honestly, if the SD Convention Center can convince CCI that they're going to be large enough to increase the max attendance, I'd be surprised if they moved-- after all, it would make the 2011 and 2012 shows in San Diego a bit tense if they announced that they'll move to Anaheim in 2013 and the convention center no longer feels obligated to "sell" to them --but there would definitely be some advantages to a move to Anaheim: cheaper hotels around, and I'm a total sucker for Disneyland.

What say you guys? I know a few of you will be hitting up Comic Con this year; would you be okay with a switch to Anaheim in a couple of years or do you prefer San Diego? In any case, Variety swears we'll know in a matter of weeks...    
FLStyleon April 28, 2010 at 8:58 a.m.
In what context does Comic-Con qualify to have International on the end of its name? Is that in reference to its global appeal?
Cogitoon April 28, 2010 at 9:09 a.m.
I've never actually heard it called Comic-Con International. 
I think it would be for the best if they moved it to a larger venue, less crowded, able to sell more tickets, I think they might make more money in the long run.
Count_Zeroon April 28, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
I'm going to SDCC this year, and I wouldn't mind if they stayed in San Diego. Then again, I have relatives in San Diego I can stay with, thus saving me money, so I'm biased.
Rathanyon April 28, 2010 at 9:58 a.m.

I obviously want CCI to stay in SD, it is convenient for me :)  

But, to make some non-selfish points about them staying ...  One concern I have with a move is actually about the off-site events.  Some of the biggest happenings aren't even within the convention center.  A nearby warehouse was converted into a giant Alice in Wonderland Tea Party last year.  Before that, MGM docked an aircraft carrier at it, being that it is right at a port, to screen Stargate: The Ark of Truth.  Does Anaheim have the nearby offsite warehouses and stuff to continue to have major events directly adjacent?  

Meh, not that I have really gone to many of the offsite things.  I either didn't know or didn't win tickets.  

Granted getting to, and into, CCI is more than a bit of a mess.  Would Anaheim be any better on those things?  Less of a clusterfuck at the entrance is the one that that would endear me to a new site.  If Anaheim lacks light rail running to the site, they'd better have very frequent, specialty bus service running the whole time.  If it moves and things are worse on that front, I would be an unhappy camper.  

N15PCAon April 28, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.

@ Gia. 
What say you guys? I know a few of you will be hitting up Comic Con this year; would you be okay with a switch to Anaheim in a couple of years or do you prefer San Diego? In any case, Variety swears we'll know in a matter of weeks...        
Forget Anaheim.  They should move it to Las Vegas and have the event take place in Fedruary.
sora_thekey moderator on April 28, 2010 at 4:25 p.m.
San Diego is 20 minutes away from me...
Anaheim is 2 hours away from me...
I want it to stay in San Diego... Why change something that has been going on for 40 years?
Gozertcon April 29, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.
@N15PCA:  I'm not against Vegas actually.  :)  
Okay I'm going to come at this as someone who has to drive a fair bit no matter WHERE they put comic con.  Also as a former attendee and staffer at Anime Expo when they were both in Long Beach and Anaheim.   
First off the drive:  It is about 3 hours to San Diego, 2 Hours to Anaheim, and 2 hours to Vegas from here in the High Desert. (Barstow/Victorville) I have made the drive dozens of times on each so that's not a big deal so I call it even for each.   
Next up accommodations:  I know darn well that no matter where they hold CC the hotels will sell out fast.  As for it being cheaper in Anaheim I also know rates will and DO increase on event weekends and CC will definitely be an "Increase rate" time.  So for those who like to go on the cheap what are the options?  In San Diego I stayed at the KOA in the next town over and drove about 20 mins every morning to get to the convention center.  Luckily I didn't HAVE to be there first thing in the morning because if I did it'd be hell to find parking and even GET to the bloody convention center.  Driving in the San Diego area, especially the old town around the convention center SUCKS!!  First there's the bloody rail line splitting the area up.  Then there's the old roads mixed with new and confusing freeway on and off ramps.  (The one I usually took dropped you off past the naval yard WAY down the road.)   
Compare that to Anaheim where Disneyland has made sure the freeways are well signed with special on and off ramps.  Large, I want to say six lane (correct me if I'm wrong) roads going all around the convention center.  Hotel parking and convention center parking everywhere and many layers of hotels farther away yet still accessible due to the nature of the area.  Purely as a driver Anaheim beats San Diego hands down no contest.  
As for Vegas there's a nice option available to help for both accommodations and driving: The Monorail.  It drops you off right there at the convention center and goes by and to many of the other hotels on the strip.  Then there's TONS of off strip hotels and things that will have low rates no matter what.  Though driving in Vegas is no fun especially around the strip. (The convention center isn't on the strip though so it helps a little.)   
So on accommodations I'd have to go Anaheim, Vegas, San Diego.   
Facilities:  Now this one I'm going to have to guess a bit since I don't have full access to San Diego or Vegas.   
Anaheim facilities were nice and upgraded last time I worked in it.  Though I have to admit they seemed much smaller than San Diego I do believe they were doing upgrades though so I'm not sure how it stacks up now.   
San Diego was a nice large facility, though perhaps a bit TOO large and stretched out.  I think I'd prefer a more square layout than a long line.  Also the upstairs is broken up in an odd way that's not always passable. (Though they seemed to work on that in later years) 
As for the Vegas one I've never been in it but I hear it's HUGE.  Possibly bigger than San Diego.  *Shrugs*  
Facilities wise I'd have to go with San Diego just because I know it works for comic con now, though with expansion?  Who knows.   
Finally I have to mention the neighborhood.  Anaheim has that family friendly "Disney" vibe in a lot of areas around the convention center.  I had no problems having young ones running to and from hotels and such during Anime Expo.  (one of the big concerns when they moved to LA) San Diego same thing, though there is the danger of being hit by a train on top of the troubles with cars.  This is only exacerbated by the previously mentioned poorly laid out area.   San Diego does have lots of nice adult (I.e. Bars) entertainment options in old town there.  Vegas on the other hand, even though they've been "family friendly" in recent years is still most DEFINITELY the adult playground it always was.  Hence I think Vegas will lose for quite a while on a Comic Con because of the area.   
For me it goes Anaheim, San Diego, and Vegas.  
phazttraxxon May 6, 2010 at 9:13 p.m.
 I heard rumors that it would move to Las Vegas. I am in the same boat as Disneyland. I am a sucker for Vegas. But, CCI's numbers would drop because of the amount of family and teens that attend. Not to mention, it's in the freakin' desert! The date CCI can book are in the cool months. Now, what else is in Vegas in the cool months? AVN, CES, LV Comic Con. On top of that are the holidays. No one will attend Comic-Con in Las Vegas. Also, CCI was called the San Diego Comic-Con up to 2000. After the first Spiderman movie came out, the company wanted to seam more professional. Didn't work. Damn E! Entertainment harps  on the "nerds" of Comic-Con. On the other hand, E! is making money off of those nerds.  Arrgg!

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