In the words of Tony Stark, it feels like, "Earth is closed today." However, Earth is going to one day re-open and everyday life around the country and world will return to what was once our normal. People will be able to gather in crowds, sports will be on TV, and movie theaters will be open with new movies hitting theaters late on Thursday night. As the uncertainty of when all of these aspects of our lives return remains, San Diego Comic-Con has become a major question mark for pop culture fans. Scheduled for July, it seems unlikely that 120,000 people will be densely gathered for a celebration of geek culture so soon. If the convention is able to, many are hoping it postpones to later this year -- rather than cancel -- but that will require immediate action.
Should the world famous SDCC take place in a 2020 that went as originally planned, the event had potential to be its biggest in years. 2021 has a stacked line-up of films and television shows which most often become headlines of the convention. As a matter of fact, 2021 is only getting more crowded with blockbuster titles which would typically head to southern California for this showcase. On top of of all the major studios needing an outlet to promote their films which have been unexpectedly bumped from their originally planned release dates, the comics industry is also going to need a proper boost. Comic shops around the country are struggling as new books are literally not available to them, on top of the fact that it is simply unsafe to be out shopping right now.
If San Diego Comic-Con is to be canceled, something which is not unlikely at this point, the event lose an opportunity to feature major titles with major studios and be heard around the world in a louder fashion than in recent years. Hundreds of thousands of fans who enjoy the event in person and by watching online will not be fulfilled by one of the most exciting events of the year in our world. Of course, safety comes first, and this is in no way advocating ignoring the guidelines from health experts.
This is a hope for the convention to find a new, more likely to be safe date in 2020.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when the pandemic the world is facing will subside and gathering in large crowds will once again be safe. As such, the convention would be wise to quickly pack its bags from the scheduled weekend in July and move back into the third or fourth quarters of the year.
Aside from regularly cheduled events in San Diego like a Padres game (which would be played across the street at Petco Park), the biggest conflict would arise in the form of New York Comic Con, an event which is scheduled for October be seems to be more uncertain than its San Diego counterpart. New York Comic Con's Javitz Center is currently serving as a hospital to care for those in need as the city of New York has become America's hot spot for the spreading virus. It is unclear whether or not New York will be able to host its Comic Con this year, though it has the advantage of seven months to safely evaluate.
San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con existing very closely together would ultimately see both shows suffer as they cannibalize each other in categories like celebrity appearance availability, studio and network opportunities, traveling press, and attendees from around the world might otherwise attend both. The two conventions would have to be in communication with each other to determine when and how to go about their scheduled 2020 events.
For San Diego Comic-Con, rescheduling is not something which can be waited on. The event requires much more than the San Diego Convention Center's time but a city-wide effort. Hotels, restaurants, and all other venues in the city are impacted by and plan with the event which essentially takes over the city for five days. Logistically, rescheduling gets more difficult with each passing day. Not to mention, the event sold out for July dates months ago. More than 100,000 people who knew they would be available in July would need the option of being refunded or transferring their tickets, in one way or another.
Should a delay come into play, the months of August, September, and October seem to be the ideal landing spot for the event, with hope that traveling and gathering is once again safe by those times. Anything later and the convention will be facing months with popular holidays which may cause difficulties in traveling talent or attendees to the show. Still, safety comes first. As the event and its regularly scheduled or newly rescheduled date get closer, the city of San Diego and powers that be within Comic-Con will have to carefully evaluate whether or not it is safe to host the event -- ultimately concluding whether or not it can happen at all.
For now, it's difficult to imagine San Diego Comic-Con taking place in 2020. This would be the first year since 1969 that the event did not take place. July is not totally out of the question as the world makes every effort to combat a virus which has spread at an alarming rate but it is clear that other events are not anticipating the month to be a popular one for outings and social gatherings.
San Diego Comic-Con is currently scheduled for July 23 through July 26.