By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Probably one of the silver linings of the Chargers football team leaving San Diego for Los Angeles, is that it probably helped guarantee that the City of San Diego would do whatever it could to make sure Comic-Con International would stay for the next few years. And the news is even better since their new agreement puts them in America’s City through 2021.
“We have had to cap our attendance for many, many years so our income level is different and we have to be aware of that. But again, with the efforts of the mayor, the Tourism Authority, the hoteliers, we’re able to make what we have work.” – David Glanzer, Comic-Con International spokesman
The key sticking point for keeping the pop culture geek fest in San Diego was ironically hotel rates. Knowing that many visitors to the Con are youths with a limited amount of capital to spend, Comic-Con wanted assurances that nearby hotels would raise rates more than 4% through the period of the new contract. According to SDCC, thanks to the efforts of San Diego’s Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, and his tourism team, more than 56 hotel chains have agreed on the stipulations.
“There’s no question that San Diegans understand how incredibly important Comic-Con is and not just Comic-Con but all the conventions that impact our city’s bottom line. To have our flagship convention that has grown up with this city, you cannot take that success for granted… ” – Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Mayor
Though able to kick the can down the road, the future of Comic-Con in San Diego remains uncertain. Mayor Faulconer said that plans are underway for a $600 million expansion to the iconic San Diego Convention center that SDCC calls home. But so far, the city has been unable to secure funding through efforts to call for a special election to increase hotel taxes to pay for it. Should San Diego fail to expand the convention center by the end of the term, Comic-Con could easily pick up shop and follow the Chargers out of town.
“We’ve made it very, very clear we would love to stay here, but the truth of the matter is we have operated shows in Oakland, in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and in Anaheim,” SDCC spokesman Glanzer explained. “If the worst thing were to happen, and that is we had to leave, we all can still live in San Diego and the convention can be in another city. That’s not what we want.”
Meanwhile, this year’s Comic-Con panel line up is taking shape with some exciting panels, including pilot screenings for Krypton and Black Lighting on Preview Night (Wednesday), a reunion for the cast of Battlestar Galactica on Thursday. There will be a 20th anniversary panel celebrating Stargate SG-1, and Game of Thrones in Hall H, both on Friday. On Saturday, CW Panels for ARROW, The Flash, the new Black Lightning, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Krypton. And a special Doctor Who Panel to say goodbye to 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi and outgoing show running Steven Moffat will close out the Con on Sunday in Hall H.
So far we don’t have any information on panels for Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and the Black Panther, but Marvel president Kevin Feige said in April that they would definitely be returning to Hall H this year. We’re also waiting to hear on panels for Resident Evil: Vendetta and Starship Troopers: Traitors of Mars.
There’s no mention of Justice League either, and pinch hit director Joss Whedon told blogger Mark Nearby that he wasn’t attending. Whedon is deep into major reshoots and post-production, but maybe stars who have wrapped the film will attend and hype up the film? Stay tuned.
“New for 2017: A second Costume Props Desk has been added near the outside door in the lobby of Hall C2.”
Lastly, Comic-Con has announced minor changes to it’s cosplay weapons policy, which will require weapons to be nonfunctional, swords to be permanently sheathed, and arrows to be headless and bound in quivers. They’ve also added a second weapons check-in area. This is all in response to a crazed fan who wanted to assault former Power Ranger Jason David Franks at the Comic-Con in Phoenix. In that incident, the Con had to ban prop weapons altogether. You can see the complete Costume Props Policy here.
Comic-Con 2017 will start with Preview night on Wednesday, July 20th and runs through Sunday, July 23. Meanwhile you can keep up with updates at the SDCC Blog here. We’ll be there providing live coverage here at doddleNEWS and on our Twitter.