And I’m going to be very blunt with you too: we’re not doing this deal in the media. Anaheim and San Diego – San Diego just woke up and put out that offer a day late and a dollar short, in my view. Our offer’s been out there for five years. And our offer is superior to their offer. I won’t say all the details because I’m not going to play this all out in the media, but I will say that that offer is a chump change offer. It’s kind of an afterthought to me. It’s like, “We think we’re going to lose it, so we’re going to throw a few bucks out there.” And I’ve got to be honest with you, to Comic-Con it isn’t just about that. That’s how I interpret it. It’s all about “How can we grow and enhance the show?” And my primary mission here is to grow and enhance that show. If I can’t improve that show for Comic-Con and for your industry here in Los Angeles, then I would not pursue this show. And I would not have busted my rear end for five years to do it if I couldn’t present them with that option. My offer today is only improved by the fact that I have A.E.G. and the LA Live development in partnership with me.

- Michael Krause, part of the comittee wooing Comic-Con to move to Los Angeles, @ CBR

I have 10,000 other things to do today, but I came across this in a link from Scott McCloud on Twitter (who is firmly in favour of Comic-Con staying in San Diego, I should say), and the bolded part up there (Emphasis mine) jumped out at me.

My response? Yes. Exactly.

Despite some public commentary to the contrary, San Diego has been routinely horrible to the Comic-Con, and their efforts to “work” with their most volumnous show of the year have been sad. The big “public show of support” this year is a fucking joke, flat out. You don’t look at what they’re promising to do, you look at what they _actually_ do, and this year the biggest hotel and the closest hotel basically told Comic-Con to fuck off, holding a giant conference (very police and security-heavy) on the same weekend, blocking off a bunch of rooms and holding them away from an event that they’ve known was coming for… years.

It’s a joke, the city from an infrastructure point of view does not like the show. They don’t. This ‘show of support’ they made is tokenism at best, it’s a to cover their asses with the hotels and restaurants–their constituents–if 125,000+ tourists and their associated tourist dollars disappear in a few years.

I run a show. It’s less than 1/10th the size of San Diego, I’m on nowhere near the same playing field. But running a show like this, making demands on people and organizations and venues and having to make concessions and the wonderful back-and-forth that goes into planning a large event? You begin to be able to tell when the folks on the other end want to make something work, and when they don’t, and in my opinion San Diego isn’t really interested in making the Con work.

This isn’t important, in the grand scheme of things. I think we all know that, but I do think it’s nice that someone–even someone coming from a competing organization/area–came forward and said “We’ve got a better offer, San Diego doesn’t really give a shit” because that’s been my observation all along. And then their recent promises and shows of support? WOEFULLY inadequate. Chump Change.

So yeah, I like walking out the back doors to the pristine Bay view and the good food as much as the next guy, but… I also want a better offer. I want more floorspace, more hotel space, better organization, and I want to be at an event where everyone involved is actually on board, and not barely tolerating each other’s presence.

Where’s that event?

- Christopher

9 Comments on “San Diego’s “Chump Change” offer”

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  1. Greg McElhatton says:

    I’ll actually be a little pissed if Comic-Con stays in San Diego without much bigger promises—in writing—about what San Diego will do to make it work.

    My last Comic-Con trip was 2005, and I had an absolute blast seeing all of my friends and such, but even then it was already so crowded and buckling at the seams that I promised myself I wouldn’t go back without some big changes.

    Five years later, still waiting.

  2. Chris Howard says:

    Where’s that event?

    At the Toronto Reference library this weekend?

  3. Kelly Tindall says:

    I fondly remember my visit in 2007, when the mayor of San Diego said, on the news, that he couldn’t wait for SDCC to be over so that they could get the American Idol people in there. “People with actual talent,” he said.

    What a way to make a Canadian feel welcome, you know?

  4. Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment says:

    [...] Conventions | Christopher Butcher weighs in on San Diego's "routinely horrible" treatment of Comic-Con International, which is being aggressively courted by Los Angeles and Anaheim. [Comics212] [...]

  5. Secret Identity says:

    Great post…really, really great post!!

  6. San Diego Comic-Con to Comics: “Eh” says:

    [...] for thinking comics remain the event’s focus, but the evidence is stacking against that view. The event’s size has led to friction with the city of San Diego, and it looks like they’re eyeing Los Angeles as their new home, much closer to Hollywood. [...]

  7. R.L. Martines says:

    I agree with you completely. The hotel fiasco with the Hyatt this year is totally a slap in the face. Screw that. You would think that convention rates for the week would be discounted, but they are jacked up to gouge the attendees. That’s messed up. I will say that the San Diego Convention Center is a beautiful world class facility that is a pleasure to be in, but the San Diego hotels treatment of the fans has been abusive for the last ten years.

  8. John says:

    @Chris Howard: It’s the Health Forum and the American Hospital Association Leadership Summit at the Manchester Grand Hyatt on July 22-24, 2010. Al Gore, Newt Gingrich are among the guests of honor that will require heavy security.

  9. markus says:

    You know, you should fix that up a bit and send it to a San Diego newspaper. Just so the CYA-move doesn’t work and people there get to debate the matter openly.
    You’re able to talk from experience _and_ are not connected to either side, and I’d assume that’s a perspective that’s – by necessity – underrepresented.

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