21 DECEMBER 2016
Happy Yule/Winter Solstice! Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? Here's one to put on your list: getting a San Diego Comic-Con badge so you can enjoy the upgraded convention center in all its fancy new cutting-edge technology.
Don't get excited; there isn't a new Hall H or extra mile of Exhibit Hall being built. But as a future SDCC attendee, you will be able to enjoy LED lightning, "modernized" escalators and other infrastructure upgrades - what the Board of Directors chair calls "cutting-edge technology that improves our efficiency and enhances the experience of all of our guests." Supposedly 50 people a day are busy performing the center enhancements.
This isn't just about catering to our very special nerd demands, of course - it's about keeping the facility competitive. If you've followed along with the tortuous saga of the Convention Center Expansion That Never Was, you know the expansion was justified on the grounds that a bigger center could attract other events. San Diego Comic-Con may be the cat's meow of San Diego happenings, but alas, even our magnificence is not enough to sustain the center all year round. And as CEO Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe pointed out, other facilities in other cities aren't quite as hindered by local politics. Anaheim is already completing its 7th expansion.
As for our expansion - well, it's best to think about something else if you want to keep your holiday spirit. "A plan to make the center larger has been held up by litigation and land that was going to be used for a bigger footprint is no longer available. Rippetoe said there is currently no timeline for getting the expansion underway." We know.
At least we still have modernized escalators to look forward to. And the looming badge sale, at which point we'll begin our long nerve-wracking 2017 slide into Comic-Con mayhem.