Comic-Con International Officially Cancels 2020 San Diego Comic-Con

For those of us working in the Pop Culture media arena. The question that has been looming ever since the COVID-19 outbreak began was, would we be out of this in time for the 2020 San Diego Comic-Con in July? Today, we have the answer as Comic-Con International has officially cancelled the 2020 San Diego Comic-Con with the formal announcement they released today (see below).

Comic-Con Announces Plans in Light of the Covid-19 Pandemic
The Current Situation Requires Exceptional Measures
For the first time in its 50-year history San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC), the organizers behind the annual pop culture celebration, announced today with deep regret that there will be no Comic-Con in 2020. The event will instead return to the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021.

Recognizing that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and how many exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood, they had hoped to delay this decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer. Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year.

Similarly, WonderCon Anaheim, which was to have been held April 10-12, 2020 will return to the Anaheim Convention Center from March 26-28, 2021.

In addition to their conventions, Comic-Con has been planning a major renovation of Balboa Park’s Federal Building to be completed for the grand opening of the Comic-Con Museum in the summer of 2021. However, the COVID-19 situation has had an effect on those efforts as well. As such, they will be rephasing the Museum’s initially planned major renovations, but will not scale back the experience to be offered to visitors upon the Museum’s grand opening. They anticipate releasing building plans illustrating the Museum’s transformation and sharing more information about those efforts in the coming months.

SDCC also announced that individuals who purchased badges for Comic-Con 2020 will have the option to request a refund or transfer their badges to Comic-Con 2021. All 2020 badge holders will receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to request a refund. Exhibitors for Comic-Con 2020 will also have the option to request a refund or transfer their payments to Comic-Con 2021 and will also receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to process their request.

In the next few days onPeak, Comic-Con’s official hotel affiliate, will be canceling all hotel reservations and refunding all deposits made through them. There is no need for anyone who booked through onPeak to take any action, including trying to cancel their reservations online or contacting the company via phone as the process will be handled automatically. Those who booked rooms through onPeak will be notified when refunds have been completed.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision,” said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the organization. “We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy.”

What this means for the literally thousands of new products that are announced at this event every year remains to be seen. What is easy to forget, is Popular Culture retailers have already been expanding into online shopping for some years now. Most recently companies like Hasbro have synchronized live convention reveals with immediate shopping opportunities for everyone not at the show. In this regard, many companies are likely to take this route and even expand in the absence of a convention this year.

While it won't be the same as scrambling to book travel, hotels, and events. This will probably turn out to be just fine with the billions of people in the world who don't go to SDCC anyways. For the rest of us, it will be hard not to see our old friends and enjoy the rush of hearing companies announce things in-person. So here's to SDCC 2021, what will be that much better appreciated.

UPDATE: Comic-Con has issued a full official statement stating Badge-holders will receive an e-mail in the coming week with instructions on how to either request a refund for their 2020 badge or to transfer their badge to Comic-Con 2021. For anyone who had purchased an Early Bird hotel through onPeak, hotel reservations will be canceled and refunded, despite being “non-refundable” when booked.

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