The dueling banjos of the convention center expansion

8 MARCH 2016

Another day, another propaganda piece on how a multi-site convention center expansion "will serve the Comic-Con community in new and exciting ways." That's what they hope to convince CCI of, at any rate. (They also mention future and hypothetical Super Bowls, soccer games, religious gathering and Final Four games to convince everyone else.)

"They" in this case are the Chargers, JMI Reality, environmentalists and "higher education advocates" who want the non-contiguous expansion. The one where you probably have to ride a shuttle just to reach certain panels.

David Glanzer, CCI spokesperson, injects some common sense into the debate: "The ability to have all exhibitors under one roof is considerably more beneficial for attendees and show organizers." Anyone who's ever attended a conference or event where you have to travel between facilities knows this is true. He also speaks with the voice of experience, and relays the "great deal of consternation" that resulted a few years back when some vendors were moved up to the Sails Pavilion. That was just a different part of the same center, so it's obvious that being moved off site would probably cause even more of a disturbance.

He also came up with this scenario: the idea that any event wanting to book the convention center would need to contemplate booking the other site as well, if only to stop the "very real threat of rival events securing that space or ambush marketing that would draw attendees, and revenue, away from the original facility, their programs and exhibitors."

(That is such a CCI line of thought. I wonder if SLCC was ever accused of "ambush marketing" with their flashy car that started that whole lawsuit. But to be fair, I can see that CCI would feel obligated to protect their exhibitors' revenue as much as possible.)

Glanzer closed his piece quite fairly by saying the decision shouldn't be based on one event and that they'd try to work with whatever parameters were given. But overall he made CCI's stance clear and it's one that I believe most attendees share; we'd prefer to keep our Con in one building as much as possible. And some of us are still fantasizing about parties in that rooftop park that was mentioned back in the halcyon days when it seemed the expansion would actually happen.

In an ideal world, we'd have some kind of cage match during SDCC and settle this like civilized people. (Would wait in Hall H line, 10/10.) Failing that, maybe local attendees can work some type of neuro-linguistic programming or Jedi mind tricks to sway the good voters of San Diego. But overall, I'm feeling like those voters are probably as sick of hearing about this as we are and may just want to see the whole issue resolved and off the table.

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