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2020 Comic-Con canceled amid coronavirus pandemic

2020 Comic-Con canceled amid coronavirus pandemic
Posted at 1:28 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 18:55:31-04

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) has announced that it is canceling its 2020 convention.

It marks the the first time in the event's history that it's canceled a convention.

The convention — one of the largest pop culture and media conventions in the world — will not hold an event in 2020 and will instead return in 2021.

Comic-Con was scheduled to take place between June 23-26. The 2021 event will be held July 22-25.

“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 Comic-Con. “We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy.”

The event is held each year at the San Diego Convention Center. Currently, the convention center is being used to house hundreds of homeless individuals and protect them from the spread of the coronavirus.

Doubt was initially cast on the pop culture convention Monday, after Califonria Gov. Gavin Newsom said "the prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity,” or until a vaccine is developed. Newsom added that it was unlikely that California would allow mass gatherings until after August.

Newsom’s guidance immediately prompted the Del Mar Fairgrounds to postpone June's San Diego County Fair until 2021.

Comic-Con annually brings hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world to San Diego over five days. Attendees mingle throughout the convention center, surrounding hotels, and downtown areas for onsite and offsite events.

For exhibitors who planned to take part in this year’s event or for those who bought badges for Comic-Con 2020, officials said the following:

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.”

Regarding hotels, organizers said:

"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.”

Organizers said Comic-Con will return to the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021.

This month, Comic-Con organizers opted to host sister convention WonderCon virtually instead of at the Anaheim Convention Center. The online event offered activities, cosplay contests, exclusive merchandise, video panels, and a virtual exhibit floor online for fans.

WonderCon is slated to return to the Anaheim Convention Center from March 26-28, 2021.

Comic-Con is currently under contract with the convention center to keep the event in San Diego through 2024.

This story was originally published by Mark Saunders and Jermaine Ong on KGTV in San Diego.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering