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San Diego Comic-Con 2020 canceled for first time in 50-year history

The bad news comics fans were expecting is now official: San Diego Comic-Con is canceled this year.

The world’s largest annual festival for comics and pop culture, Comic-Con International in San Diego, has been called off for the first time in the event’s 50-year history due to the coronavirus pandemic. San Diego Comic-Con (as it’s commonly known) was originally scheduled to kick off July 23 in the Southern California city.

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, fans who purchased passes for the popular convention — which attracts more than 130,000 attendees annually — will have the option to request a refund or receive credit toward a badge for the event in 2021.

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

The announcement was accompanied by confirmation of the dates chosen for next year’s San Diego Comic-Con. The event will run from July 22 through July 25, 2021.

Hotel reservations made through the convention’s website for the 2020 convention will also be canceled and refunded, according to the convention’s organizers.

Although it was becoming more likely in recent months that San Diego Comic-Con would be called off — much like many of the movies delayed by the coronavirus — organizers of the event indicated in early April that they still hoped to proceed with the convention in July. However, with many of the movie, TV, and comic-book projects that would have been promoted at the event currently stalled due to the pandemic, it was uncertain whether there would be anything left to showcase at the convention.

In years past, San Diego Comic-Con hosted the first looks at many of the biggest upcoming projects in the entertainment world, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Game of Thrones and other pop culture touchstones of the modern era.

The decision to cancel San Diego Comic-Con is expected to have a massive effect on the city’s economy, which typically receives more than $88 million in local tourism revenue from the event. That includes more than 220,000 hotel reservations that will now be canceled along with the convention.

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