San Diego Comic-Con Cancelled for First Time in 50-Year History

San Diego Comic-Con, the largest fan convention in the United States, has officially been cancelled amid concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Comic-Con International announced Friday.

The cancellation marks the first time in SDCC’s 50-year history that the event will not take place. The event will instead resume at the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021.

SDCC also announced that individuals who purchased badges for Comic-Con 2020 will have the option to request a refund or transfer their badges to Comic-Con 2021. All 2020 badge holders will receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to request a refund. Comic-Con’s official hotel affiliate, onPeak, will be cancelling all hotel reservations and refunding all deposits made through them.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision,” said SDCC spokesman David Glanzer. “We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy.”

The organization has also cancelled the fan convention WonderCon, after initially postponing it in March. The next WonderCon will be held from March 26-28, 2021.

San Diego Comic-Con holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest annual pop culture festival in the world, with last year’s event drawing an estimated 135,000 attendees from more than 80 countries, as well as more than 2,500 media personnel from more than 30 countries. (California Gov. Gavin Newsom, however, recommended on March 11 that gatherings of 250 people or more should be postponed or cancelled.)

Coronavirus Interrupts TV: Which Seasons Will Be Shortened?

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Dozens of events in the entertainment industry have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple TV networks have moved their annual upfront presentations to advertisers online instead of hosting them at large venues like Carnegie Hall (if there will even be upfronts, that is); the annual TV festival PaleyFest, among other fan events, has been postponed; and production on more than 100 series has been suspended in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

The sports world has also been greatly impacted by the coronavirus, prompting the NBA, NHL and MLB, among other leagues, to suspend their seasons. The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament was also cancelled, and the Summer Olympics — which were set to take place in Tokyo in July — have been postponed.

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