If You Build It, Will They Stay? San Diego’s Geek-Jock Alliance

So, kids, it’s me, Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of The Del. By now you know my backstory very well and, clearly, I am here to stay in this dishy, dizzy burg by the sea. Why would I ever leave my glorious San Diego and my fab Hotel del Coronado?

Miss Hannah Hart's haunt, the Hotel del Coronado. Photo: JSDevore
Miss Hannah Hart’s haunt, the Hotel del Coronado. Photo: JSDevore

Aside: The Hotel Del is under new ownership! Let’s see if the new Patron appreciates all the kippy, gratis adverts and bon mots Yours Truly, and our Dr. Lucy, proffer to The Del. Feel free to send your cheerful postcards to Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of The Del at 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118! Let the new owners know how much you love The Del, San Diego, Hannah Hart, ghostdame, Dr. Lucy and her pet, Onslow the Ghostly Octopus!

Anyhoo, even if I wasn’t a full-time haunt at one of America’s grandest Victorian hotels, I would never dream of floating north, unless it was all the way to Monterey. Bloody Marys on Cannery Row with John Steinbeck? Yes, please! Well, hard to believe, two San Diego icons have been flirting with plans to float: San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) and the San Diego Chargers (a football team) have been looking northward.

Until January 2016, the Chargers were already gone in their mind – Fiigmo, I believe military folk call it – headed to new digs in L.A., to be built, and shared, in concert with the Oakland Raiders. After months of Chargers-owner Dean Spanos toying with fans and city officials, like a girlfriend keeping you around in case Mr. Better doesn’t work out, he made an L.A. bid. Sadly for him, Mr. Better sent him and his dirty-weekend bag packing after a meeting of NFL owners in NYC nixed his dreams of the City of Angels. Now, the NFL suits have given Spanos and his team until January 2017 to make nicey-nice with their longtime girlfreind, San Diego: fifty-five years of holding hands on the beach. San Diego is a very popular girl, as she and Comic-Con have also been holding hands on the beach for quite a while, too: forty-five years.

From the dunes of Coronado. Photo J.S.Devore
What a lovely beach for hand-holding, to boot! The dunes of Coronado. Photo: JSDevore

Quick history lesson, kids: Just as Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Paul Stanley met Ace Frehley and formed KISS via an ad in the back of The Village Voice, so Richard Alf, a local, S.D. high school geek, met Sheldon Dorf via an ad in the back of Marvel Comics and formed Comic-Con. (Geek factoids: pre-KISS, Simmons sold comic books for extra money; his iconic eye makeup is modeled on the wings of comic book character Black Bolt. Hey, the Chargers are nicknamed the Bolts. See how life ties together, kids?)

So, Alf and Dorf first sold comic books out of Mother and Father Alf’s S.D. garage; then, in 1970, organized the very first comic convention in the area, originally known as San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con at the U.S. Grant Hotel. To this day, every year, the Grant is a highly coveted hotel reservation, and one of the official SDCC hotels, for the truest of Con devotees. Read the whole history, as told by Moi, here, kids!

But, Hannah, the fair reader inquires, why no brief history of the Chargers?

Because I don’t care. My blog, my choice. Visit ESPN if you’re interested.

Even so, apropos to our convention interests, as of February 2016, after Spanos’ NFL spanking, the Chargers and America’s Finest City have been working the room, hard, wooing each other all over again, not to mention locals, investors and taxpayers to bless construction of a grand, new stadium-convention center annex. Together, it would be a state-of-the-art, waterfront, dining/shopping/entertainment/sports-center. As it stands, the Chargers announced in late-February they would “pursue a downtown multi-use stadium project in conjunction with an expansion of the center, rejecting a proposal by city and county officials to locate a new playing facility in Mission Valley”.

Miss Hannah, the fair reader now wonders, why would I, a Starfleet Academy badge-holding dork care where a bunch of jocks play their sports ball games?

Excellent query, fair reader! You care because with this push for a new, Spongebob Fancypants stadium, there could come a shinier, bigger San Diego Convention Center which could keep our beloved San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in town well past the current, solidified date of 2018 and give us so much more elbow room on the con-floor!

“We are very happy to call San Diego our home for another two years,” Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said in July of 2015.   “I will be honest, it was touch-and-go for a while.”

Yes, if you haven’t been paying attention, kittens, SDCC has been pondering a move for some time: sort of like dating you, but keeping an eye on your always-beach-ready roommate. The consideration to switch has been primarily due to space. Like Gal Gadot (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and her restyled-Wonder Woman, molded-leather bustier, there is, technically, enough room to cover all main components; but there’s a lot of overflow. As long as the hooks and buckles don’t pop we’re okay. Take a deep breath and we might have a problem. The tensile strength of San Diego Convention Center’s hooks and buckles are being tested, which is why we now have what San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer calls the Comic-Con Campus: a network of adjacent hotels and City property for said-overflow.

S.D. Comic-Con 2016 is estimated to affect regional-impact with $140million: including attendance of 130K congoers spending $82.8million directly related to the Con, as well as 62,922 hotel rooms, all according to the San Diego Convention Center 2016 Forecast. That’s a lot of peanuts, Jumbo! The next biggest economic contributor is Society for Neuroscience convention, with 32K attendees which, oddly still generates nearly $110million in regional-impact. You know those neuroscientists are buying a G&T or two at The Del’s Sunset Bar! I certainly am!

All in all, tourism officials say if the City can keep a contiguous, convention floor-space, as opposed to the current Comic-Con spread, they should be able to attract not only larger trade shows currently passing up San Diego, keep the Chargers and, more specific to our needs, keep Comic-Con in San Diego, just as it has been since 1970.

Your Hannah and Lucy, covering SDCC 2015 for GoodToBeAGeek. See you at WonderConLA 2016, kids! Photo: JSDevore
Your Hannah Hart and Dr. Lucy, covering SDCC 2015 undercover as Lucy Van Pelt and Peppermint Patty, for GoodToBeAGeek. See you mooks at WonderConLA 2016! Photo: JSDevore

 

Abysinnia, kids!

Check back here and Follow me @JennyPopNet for full coverage of not only San Diego Comic-Con (S.D. Convention Ctr. July 21 – 24, 2016), but WonderCon (L.A. Convention Ctr. March 25 – 27, 2016)!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

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