Comic-Con International and the City of Los Angeles, CA have reached an agreement to reloacte WonderCon to L.A. in 2016.
The move was prompted by the fact that facilities in Anaheim, where the convention has been for four years, were unavailable on the dates preferred by Comic-Con.
“Los Angeles is honored to have been selected as the destination for WonderCon 2016. We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with Comic-Con International, the presenter, and helping them establish a home-base in L.A.,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “We anticipate the show to be highly attended and to set the precedent for future successful Comic-Con events in L.A.” The 2016 show is projected to generate more than $32 million for the L.A. economy over a three-day period.
Los Angeles is still actively pursuing Comic-Con in a bid to host the flagship event, San Diego Comic-Con, which has grown to the point that there are concerns the city of San Diego may no longer be able to handle the increasing number of people attending both the event itself and the ancillary events held nearby. In 2014, an estimated $180 million flowed into San Diego’s coffers, but speculation about a move continues to have legs in the wake of the city’s failure to finance a $520 million expansion plan that would have added 225,000 square feet of exhibit space along with 101,000 square feet of meeting space and an 80,000 square foot ballroom.
San Diego has also been facing pressure from the San Diego Chargers. The team has been pushing for a new stadium/convention facility to be built near the existing convention space. If that doesn’t materialize, the Chargers could move to Los Angeles as well.
WonderCon 2016 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is already home for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game trade show.
This will be the third move for the convention since its founding in 1987, when the event lived at the Oakland Convention Center until 2003. At that point, it moved to San Francisco’s Moscone Center, which was renovated in 2011, prompting the move to its current home in Anaheim. That Anaheim move was originally planned to a be temporary, but it lasted until now.
The move to Los Angeles is currently for 2016 only. Temporary.