San Diego Comic-Con cancelled for first time in 50-year history

Organizers of the annual pop culture celebration, San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), have officially announced that, for the first time in its 50-year history, Comic-Con will not take place in 2020. The event will instead return to the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021. According to various news outlets, the San Diego Convention Center is currently being used as a make-shift homeless shelter in an effort to prevent the spread of conronavirus COVID-19.

As part of their statement, organizers confirmed that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and that thousands of exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood. They had hoped to delay the decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might ease by this 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.

San Diego Comic-Con’s sister event, WonderCon Anaheim, which was to have been held from April 10-12, 2020, was also cancelled. That event is scheduled to 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. Those who booked rooms through onPeak will be notified when refunds have been completed.