San Diego's future still clouded; locals "ambivalent"

Whithercon-1Comic-Con International held a board meeting yesterday, but a decision was NOT reached on whether to stay in San Diego or to move to one of the other cities ardently wooing the big show after the current contract expires in 2012. San Diego made a bold offer:

In the hopes of holding onto the four-day show, which attracted 126,000 people last year, San Diego submitted a three-year proposal that includes an offer of 300,000 square feet of free meeting space at the city’s three bayfront convention hotels, as well as an expanded block of hotel rooms with discounted convention rates. Responding to concerns from Comic-Con International, San Diego hoteliers agreed that no rooms would exceed $300 a night.


§ Meanwhile, Peter Rowe in the SD Herald-Tribune looks at other local issues and things that aren’t quite as big as they might otherwise be in San Diego. For instance, San Diego is the largest city in the US with a single-runway airport. Rowe finds local ambivalence toward not just Con, but other local institutions:

Los Angeles and Anaheim are wooing the show, while the San Diego Convention Center and City Hall are also lobbying hard. But here in Comic-Con’s birthplace, it’s not hard to find ambivalence toward the prospect of losing our glamorous, if overgrown, child.

After all, we’ve lost other offspring, including two NBA franchises — the Rockets and the Clippers — plus corporate behemoths such as General Dynamics and Titan.

Comments

  1. Spike says:

    I read that article yesterday and its typical Herald Tribune reporting. Businesses would care if the Con leaves. Its the city council/Mayor thats always been anti Con. If Hollywood hadn’t started hitting the con in a big way, then the city would have said goodbye to the costume geeks. I love the San Diego location, but it would be a great kick to their butts to move it somewhere else just so The City can see what they lost.

  2. Andy Grossberg says:

    That’s the Union Tribune. San Diego used to have two newspapers but they merged.

  3. James Van Hise says:

    So the hotels promise that rates won’t exceed $300 a night. How about they offer the same rates that one can get in SD before and after the con is there instead of profiteering and price-gouging? How about the parking lots which ordinarily charge $8.00 a day but jack up their prices to $20 a day when Comicon is going on?

  4. Francis says:

    Even though having an excuse to visit San Diego is a draw for me, LA has put a ton of money into developing downtown LA. There are plenty of hotels, a subway system that drops you off right at the convention center — you could stay in Hollywood and be at the show in 20 (no driving, parking hassles). Combine that with the bus system CCI sets up. — and the downtown nightlife runs from velvet rope to dive. There are plenty of choices. And the city needs the money! It’s on the verge of bankruptcy!

  5. Simple supply and demand: when there’s a lot of demand for a scare resource (hotel rooms, parking spaces), that makes it more valuable, so the price goes up.

    If there were more parking spaces, or more hotel rooms, or fewer people staying in town, or fewer people driving into town, the prices would be lower.

  6. Montel says:

    Its amazing how the fate of such a prestigous and worthwhile event falls in the hands of folks worried about making a dollar. SDCC was created by comic fans for comic fans 40 years ago and regardless to its transformations or expansions, its still by fans for the fans. I think SDCC should stay in SD and remain there. The city of San Diego has proven to be a place out of the way of “common glamour” like Los Angeles(where everything and anything happens. Heck, even celebrities look forward to getting away from there, lets be real. Or Las Vegas(total distraction from the purpose of the Con…thus lost in the sea of boas and poker chips) People go there for one thing and I dont mean comics, movies and anime either. Sorry Anaheim, Ive been to that convention center. Bigger: maybe; better: no. The lines would destroy that place. Though these cities vying for the title of host of this ever expanding behemoth of geekdom, like it or not, they dont hold that “vibe” that San Diego does. There is a feel there, not unlike walking into a brand new place for the first time, only everytime. I attended my first con in 06 while still active duty and it was magical. It wasnt about what was going on in the city, but about the con. And SD made it friendly for that Sam and Martha from Wyoming who dont travel to get around and feel relatively welcome. LA and LV have too many distractions and too much going on. The Mayor and CC are gonna have to suck it up and do whats necessary to keep this mainstay in SD. People love coming there, why not support the one city and area that has become a wanted and desired oasis in a sea of “common glamour and everyday celebrity”.

  7. So the CCI/City of San Diego Rom/Com contractual renewal movie has reached its central 3rd Act…

    Oh Noes! Will these difficulties be overcome so the lovers can be reunited again?

    Stay tuned.

  8. wayne beamer says:

    Well kids, the jury must still be out, because if it wasn’t, the usual CCI folk would be dousing their usual cold water on all this talk of moving the annual Nerd Prom to LA/Anaheim in all the usual places like The Beat. But they ain’t. It’s very quiet right now. So there must be some REAL negotiating going on…

    And, if Heidi’s tea leaves are correct, maybe change is in the air. For a change…

  9. I’m with James–that $300-a-night cap on hotel prices is a pathetic offer. My blood boils every time I see how low the hotel rates are before and after Comic-Con. The prepaid, no-refund rules at hotels that don’t offer “discounted” convention rates are an even bigger ripoff.

    But… Las Vegas? Ewww. I beg you, SDCC, do not go to there.

  10. Another little (or maybe huge) factor is that the SD Con is largely staffed by local San Diego volunteers that don’t have to get an expensive hotel room, they just go home.

    Another locale would need a ton more rooms AND would need to be able to pay for them.

    And don’t take Peter Rowe too seriously, he’s bitter about San Diego getting it’s news from the internet and those old school business writers only think about things like defense contractors-way out of touch.

    I wonder why we don’t add a few more days to the show? More people could come then right?

  11. naruto says:

    I would probably “never: go to Comic-Con again if it was held in Downtown L.A.. The main reason I went to San Jose’s Fanime Anime Convention instead of L.A.’s Anime-Expo was that I really really don’t like Los Angeles. It’s a !@#$%^& !@#$heap of a town that, you have to constantly watch your back while walking anywhere.!!!…………………As far as the San Diego Mayor and City Council not liking Comic-Con. They’re the typical shortsighted types when it comes to “economics” who’ve, helped usher in this world recession we’re all suffering through.

    Moreover, the fact that the Mayor and City Councilmen/women are all friends of Alex G. Spanos and his “Mafia Like” Corperate Real Estate Interest’s he and his family have in San Diego. Indeed makes me look at them with even more disdain than I otherwise normally would!! I’m from up in the Stockton Area so, I know well what a scumbucket he and his family are.

    It should also be mentioned that, it can hardly be a coincidence that the powerful and frightening “Organized Crime Interests” from the “Balkans”; Greece and Serbia mainly have poked their dirty heads up in the Real Estate and Banking Circles that the San Diego Mayor’s Office and City Councilmen/women tend to run in.

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