It happened. San Diego Comic-Con 2020 is cancelled, for the first time in its 50 year history, but it just might be the best thing that’s happened for the geek community.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m disappointed.
I was very excited to see what the folks at SDCC had planned for its 51st convention. San Diego Comic Con has evolved tremendously since its 1970 inception, when it was birthed as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and was small enough to be held at the U.S. Grant Hotel.
Since then it has ballooned to the largest pop culture gathering in the world. The 5-day extravaganza hosts over 130,000 attendees and expanded its programming beyond comics and sci-fi entertainment to become ground zero for pop culture of all genres with first looks at tentpole projects, con-exclusive merchandise, and massive marketing pop-ups.
However, the pros of cancelling geekdom’s marquee event far outweighs the (forgive me) cons.
NO CON IS TOO BIG
Despite the coronavirus pandemic uprooting normal life in almost every way, there was a debate running through geek circles that cancelling SDCC would be impossible.
The convention is responsible for a huge part of San Diego’s regional economy. The visitsandiego.com website states that the 2019 event was estimated to attract over 135,000 visitors, generates an economic impact of $149 million, and has attendees directly spending $88 million. The consequences of cancelling the event are apparent. San Diego will suffer financially.
However, the decision to cancel the event sends a clear message to the rest of the world: No convention is too big to cancel. In fact, no event is too big to cancel.
Anime Expo shortly followed Comic-Con, hours later, with their own cancellation.
Eyes are now on Atlanta’s DragonCon, New York Comic Con, and the other remaining big conventions who have yet to reveal their fate.