Comic-Con is about to swarm on San Diego again, bringing with it a whirlwind of all things pop culture and thousand upon thousands of fans. We all know that it’s the place to be for all things comics, but what else goes into this hub of games, movies and comic books? Check out what the top 10 facts you need to know for the Con…
1. The Con Has Been Going on Since 1970 and Gotten Bigger Each Year
The first Comic-Con was in 1970 and dubbed the Golden State Comic Book Convention by a artists and publishers Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Ken Krueger and Mike Towry. With it’s growing size, the convention has moved to a number of locations including El Cortez Hotel and University of California, San Diego. While it attracts thousands of fans, artists and exhibitors, a group of 13 board members, 20 employees and 80 volunteers work to put it together.
2. The San Diego Convention Center is the Main Venue
Located in the Marina District of Downtown San Diego, the facility was first opened in 1989 has housed the Con since 1991. Even with the center’s 615,700 sq ft of space, it’s still packed to capacity with super heroes, space aliens and geeks of all shapes and sizes every July.
3. This Year’s Event Sold Out in 93 Minutes
Just a few years ago one could acquire a Comic-Con badge rather easily, not anymore. The giant panels and swarm of media buzz has only increased the convention’s popularity, and this year’s badges sold out in a little over an hour and a half. The badges went on sale at 9:00 am PT and by 10:36 nerds across the nation were left empty handed.
4. Parking Will Be Difficult But Public Transportation is Available
ACE parking owns a number of lots in downtown San Diego but you can expect the prices to be high and space limited to non-existent. They sell parking passes ahead of time so don’t plan on just driving up a half hour early and getting a spot, it ain’t happening. In order to save your sanity, it’s recommended that you go with San Diego’s trolley system,cab, bus or a pedicab. Just don’t forget to tip!
5. Fans Will Camp Out for Hall H
If you plan on attending Breaking Bad, Hunger Games, Captain America or any of the BIG Hollywood panels in Hall H, be prepared to wait… and wait…and wait. Even at 6.500 seats the theater fills up incredibly fast, with many fans waiting hours to get a coveted spot. Seriously, bring a comic (or 12) to read because you will be waiting.
6. Cosplay Rules
While a lot of people will be at the convention with hopes of asking Kevin Smith or Harrison Ford their most geeked-out question possible, for others it’s merely the biggest costume party ever. Many fans will be at the convention sporting costumes they’ve spent the entire year making, spending thousands of dollars. From Darth Vader to the most obscure animae character, expect to see it all!
7. Saturday is the Busiest Day of the Con
While the truly hardcore geek will be at Comic-Con all 4 days, most attendees will make it down on Saturday. This is also the day with the biggest panels including Marvel, Xbox and Hunger Games with many hordes of fans trying to get their spot.
8. Over 130,000 People Attended Last Year’s Convention
The first Comic-Con drew only small fraction of what today’s Con reels in. Back in 1970 the attendance number was only 300. Last year’s convention drew over 130,000 people including exhibitors, panelists and fans!
9. Comics Are Only a Small Portion of the Pop Culture Present
Comics may have given birth to Comic-Con, but the monster has since grown into a convention of all things pop culture. Video games, animae, toys and the movie industry have all latched onto Comic-Con as a way to debut their newest projects. Xbox, The Walking Dead and Hunger Games: Catching Fire are just a few of the events catching buzz at this year’s convention.
10.It’s One of San Diego’s Biggest Money Makers
Hotels, food, travel, etc, etc… San Diego is rolling in the money after a Comic-Con weekend. Previous estimates put the revenue figure around $30-$50 million In 2011, around 50% of attendees were out-of-towners who spent $30 million in hotels. Throw in food, badges, and other costs and a recent survey pegged the Con bringing $163 million to San Diego!