by Chris Eaton-
San Diego desperate; Anaheim wily in their tactics!
Seems that this battle over Comic-Con moving from San Diego to Anaheim (or possibly even L.A.) is only heating up. Last month, I posted a story about Con officials pondering a move away from San Diego for the 2013 Comic Con. Regardless of all the headaches of Twilight fans and overpricing things, the main reason is simply this:
Con has been capping attendance for the last three years now, Even with that, the convention is busting at the seams like a fat man at a buffet. Capping attendance is not only bad for Con-goer’s but it’s bad for business. Con, as much as it’s a celebration of all things geekdom, is also a business. Since we live in a capitalist society, if a business can’t grow, it can’t make money. Ergo, if it can’t make money, it’ll die. But Con has made it clear that they would love to stay in San Diego, as it’s been their home (and point of origin) for the last 40 years. Moving away would not only take away a bit of its mystique, but it would cripple the economy in downtown San Diego. (Which makes half of its earnings for the year in the five days of Con)
But San Diego hasn’t helped themselves much. They have yet to really move on any space expansion of the convention center, but the fiasco with booking hotels for Con this year was another black eye that they didn’t need. So, like any good fight, the opponent, Anaheim, has ramped up their campaign to woo Con to their fair city.
The Anaheim/Orange County Visitors and Convention Bureau has posted a nice TOP 8 list on their home page that is getting some attention by the media. It’s a nice stab to the city by the sea:
Top 8 Reasons to Move Comic-Con International to Anaheim, CA
Convention Center Size:
The Anaheim Convention Center has a total facility area of 1.6 million square feet (including 815,000 square feet of exhibit space and a quarter-mile-long indoor lobby) and is the largest convention center on the West Coast. The headquarter hotels on the convention center campus bring the total exhibit space to more than one million square feet.
Proximity of Reasonably Priced Hotel Rooms:
Orange County has 55,000 guest rooms total. 20,000 of these guest rooms are located in Anaheim. There are 12,000 hotel rooms within one mile of the Anaheim Convention Center and 7,000 within walking distance, all within a variety of competitive price points.
Convention Center Experience:
The Anaheim Convention Center has experienced success with conventions, events and tradeshows of Comic-Con International’s size and type. An important reason for our continued success is our convention campus, which consists of the Anaheim Convention Center, Hilton Anaheim and Anaheim Marriott. The convention campus is a hub for fan fests because everything is centrally located; the next event, session, panel, or after-party is only a few steps away.
Southern California Central:
The Anaheim Convention Center is located in the center of populous Southern California (population is more than 20 million) and is 30 minutes from the heart of the entertainment industry. The Anaheim Convention Center also has parking to accommodate this drive market (7,800 spaces).
Domestic and international attendees can access the Anaheim Convention Center via four airports. Los Angeles International (LAX), Long Beach (LGB), John Wayne (SNA) and Ontario (ONT), each having a variety of transportation options, are all within easy driving distance to the Anaheim Convention Center.
With top attractions like Disneyland® Park, Downtown Disney® District, Disney’s California Adventure® Park, Knott’s Berry Farm and 42 miles of iconic beaches, attendees can turn their Comic-Con trip into a full-fledged family vacation.
Things To Do
Contrary to the perception of some, there is lots to do in the Anaheim Resort Area. Both Downtown Disney District (which has venues like House of Blues Anaheim, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, ESPN Zone and AMC Theatres) and The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk (CinemaFusion, 300 Anaheim, Bar Louie, and FiRE + iCE, Heat Ultra Lounge) offer visitors plenty of after-hours entertainment. The Honda Center, Grove of Anaheim, Downtown Anaheim, The Block at Orange and Stadium Promenade are also nearby and can be accessed via the Anaheim Resort Transit Shuttle or Taxi.
Safety & Security:
Anaheim is the safest city to visit of 35 U.S. cities with a population of 250,000 – 500,000 according to U. S. Justice Department statistics. Anaheim is a safe and secure destination with a Tourist Oriented Policing (TOP) team dedicated to keeping attendees protected
I’ve got to say, those are good reasons.
Also, as a resident of Orange County, I can attest to most of those. Downtown Anaheim is a very nice area. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the bar scene that the Gaslamp district has, but then again, Con isn’t about going out and drinking. But be sure, if Con agrees to head to Anaheim, it’ll be like the Olympics. Anaheim will Hulk the fuck up and add an endless amount of bars and restaurants, hell even some more theaters. Believe me, I’m not tooting my horn because I don’t want to drive an hour to San Diego anymore (hell, the drive is part of the experience for me!). But Anaheim is fairly legit in these claims.
On top of their nice little list, they’ve also started a Facebook page with this message:
They too make good points. Lets face it. If Con is going to move, Anaheim is the perfect place. There aren’t nearly as many homeless or suspect looking people in the area as there are in downtown San Diego. Things are a bit more affordable, even with Disneyland across the street, and security is far more competent than the San Diego Convention center’s. There are more airports in the area (cheaper ones, too) than anywhere else in SoCal, and it’s a hop, skip and a jump from many of the studios, making it easier for them to bring presentations too. Though I’ve been firm that I would like to see less of an involvement from the Studios, but that’s clearly not going to happen.
I’ll be twenty-nine by the time they move to Anaheim, and it will be the nineteenth Comic-Con I will attend. But it will be kind of strange to just saunter down the street to head to my Mecca. Though, as long as it’s not in L.A., I think I can find solace somewhere in it being in my home town.