Just a couple of weeks ago, news that Comic-Con International–the massive comic book/movie/TV/video game/pop culture extravaganza that occupies every speck of the San Diego Convention Center each July–would move a couple hours north to Anaheim or Los Angeles dominated the buzz in geek circles, perhaps even surpassing news of Chris Evans playing Captain America. Now a move's looking a lot less likely.
This week, sources including San Diego Newsroom reported that the San Diego Convention Center were granted the land needed to an expansion of their venue, already sporting 615,701 square feet of exhibit space. A primary motivator for this growth is clear: to give more space for the increasingly crowded Comic-Con, which, with more than three months to go, is already totally sold out. (Though the San Diego Newsroom article also reports that the Convention Center had to turn away nearly 400 events in past years due to space concerns.)
Current plans, as detailed here, include adding 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and 100,000 square feet of meeting rooms, pretty much matching or exceeding the Anaheim and LA convention centers. The estimated cost? $752.7 million, or approximately $752.7 copies of Action Comics #1.
The “Bring Comic-Con International to Anaheim, CA” folks haven't given up, though, with their Facebook fan page now at more than 2,000 people. (Still a lot fewer than the 8,600+ strong “Keep Comic-Con in San Diego” group.) The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau's Web site has published a list of of “8 Reasons to Move Comic-Con International to Anaheim” (in contrast to our list of why it's a bad idea). Reason No. 7, “Things to do,” include the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney and Heat Ultra Lounge in GardenWalk. Yeah.
Comic-Con itself hasn't made any official announcements about what they're doing when their contract is up in 2012, but word is expected soon. One wonders, though, if this is all kind of moot: Yes, Comic-Con is growing exponentially now, but isn't there a chance that bubble may burst? Talk about a 1960s Batman TV show-worthy cliffhanger.