WonderCon Moves To Los Angeles in 2016
Towards the end of this weekend's WonderCon, the convention announced that it would be held in Los Angeles in 2016. The move is caused in part by planned construction on the Anahem Convention Center, and currently WonderCon only has a one year contract with LA, so it's not necessarily a permanent move. WonderCon is one of the most nomadic of conventions, having originated in Oakland, moved to San Francisco, and then moved to Anaheim. Of course, the change from Anaheim to Los Angeles is similar to the move from Oakland to San Francisco --- it's not a huge shift in terms of general location.
WonderCon is currently held at a convention center across the street from Disneyland, which adds to its share of traffic and parking nightmares, but also comes with a set of easy dining and lodging options for attendees, if a pretty suburban environment. The LA Convention Center offers a lot of the same traffic and parking nightmares (especially if there's an event at the nearby Staples Center), but a very different environment as well, given its downtown LA location. The change is ultimately just a shift of 30 miles, but the two areas are quite different. For comics pros who live in LA, like myself, it does make for a much more accessible convention. Some may even be able to take the train into the convention center, which is an unheard of luxury for people living in LA.
The contact is only for one year. Anaheim has been a great friend to WonderCon and those in the Orange County area have certainly embraced us. I will say, however, that the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Mayor himself are very vocal in making the 2016 WonderCon experience as pleasurable for us and attendees as possible. It is clear that they want to make it a great experience. But yes, we have only a one-year contract.
Still, regardless of this short initial contract, it will be interesting to see if this is a permanent change, or if after the Anaheim Convention Center finishes its renovations, WonderCon will move back. There are pros and cons to each, but given that WonderCon isn't dealing with some of the size issues that cons like SDCC and hadn't maxed out the Anaheim space, it's likely other considerations will lead the decision.