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SYFY WIRE San Diego Comic-Con 2021

San Diego Comic-Con announces in-person event for Thanksgiving weekend

By Josh Weiss

Following San Diego Comic-Con's decision to cancel this summer's event for the second year in a row over COVID-19 concerns, the annual geek gathering has announced an in-person event (dubbed Comic-Con Special Edition) for Thanksgiving weekend between Nov. 26-28. SDCC, which is also hosting a three-day iteration of Comic-Con@Home at the tail end of July, previously stated that it hoped to organize an physical convention in the fall, but didn't have confirmation until now.

“While we have been able to pivot from in-person gatherings to limited online events, the loss of revenue has had an acute impact on the organization as it has with many small businesses, necessitating reduced work schedules and reduction in pay for employees, among other issues,” spokesperson David Glanzer said in a statement to San Diego's ABC affiliate. “Hopefully this event will shore up our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger in-person gatherings in 2022."

Details (like pricing, events, and number of attendees) are still being hammered out, but Comic-Con Special Edition is expected to be a much smaller event than its older sibling, which, in normal times, attracts over 100,000 attendees from all over the world. Moreover, the yearly nerd Mecca generates an estimated $150 million for the city in which it is hosted (about $88 million of that figure comes directly from convention visitors).

The regular-sized SDCC plans to make a full return in summer 2022 (assuming that herd immunity against the novel coronavirus has been achieved via widespread vaccination). Those who purchased badges for 2021 will have them rolled over into next year unless they request a refund.

"While we lament the postponement of the in-person Comic-Con, our commitment to this community of fans and our celebration of comics and the related popular arts endures as an important part of who we are," the organizers said in early March. "The past several months have taken a great toll on both families and friends, and we hope this effort is a small move toward a return to gathering as a community to not only celebrate popular art, but also friendship, education, and the enduring spirit of the fandom that is so much a part of Comic-Con. We thank you all for your continued and unwavering support during these most challenging times."