November 10th, 2004

Magical Truthsaying Bastard Spidey!

Show me the money!

I learned today that Major League Baseball scheduled a Padres homestand next July 14-17 following the All-Star break. They leave for a two-series road trip to New York and Philadelphia afterwards.

The San Diego Comic Con is scheduled for... July 14-17. Across the street. Con management was very wise... when the city built the ballpark, they got it written into their contract with the Convention Center that should there be a Padres game scheduled their weekend, and the conflict isn't resolved, they get to walk away without penalty.

This is bad for everyone around. Assuming both events went on as scheduled, there would be no parking downtown. Either event takes up all available parking. Comic Con is one of the single largest events the Convention Center hosts, taking up every square foot of space and filling it with people. Public transit would be overwhelmed. Both groups would be unhappy with the result. If Comic Con were to move (LA would be an obvious contender,) it would take millions of dollars in revenue with it. More revenue than a Padres homestand brings--people come from out of town to attend Comic Con, they book the hotels full, they stay downtown and spend money in shops and restaurants. Locals who attend the con also spend more time and money downtown, usually hanging out with friends who came in for the con.

It would also create some bad blood towards the Padres. There's no shortage of baseball fans in the comic book crowd (and Comic Con has been drawing more than just comic geeks for many years.) I have no problem refusing to spend another cent on that team if they drive the Con out of town. I'm not spending it in LA either. I don't like the town, and for what it would cost me in hotel and transit to attend, I'd be better off spending that money to fly home for Wizard World Chicago, where I'd see most of the same industry folks plus family and friends.

But I think this will work out. Money talks in this town, and Comic Con has a solid track record for bringing it in. Con leadership is a good, stable group of people. One of my managers at Qualcomm, who spent much time trying to enlighten me about the advantages of being civil and diplomatic with my cow-orkers (even when they're bleeding idiots) is the organization president. There will not be 300-pound fanboys who live in their parents' basement screaming at elected officials.