LA Comic Con Plans In-Person December Convention, Promises COVID-19 Safety
While the famed San Diego Comic-Con International held its event virtually this year, L.A. Comic Con announced that it will be holding its event live and in person this December.
"After planning over the last six months, working with the L.A. Convention Center and taking guidance from the State, L.A. County Health and the Mayor’s Office — we believe our new plans and procedures allow us to do so safely, with full CV-19 safety precautions in place," convention organizers said in a statement.
Currently, convention centers are still listed as "closed" for all four tiers in the state's reopening guidelines. It was unclear if L.A. Comic Con had received permissions from officials at this time to hold the convention, or if they were hoping for local restrictions to be eased by December. A request for comment was not immediately returned. Organizers also posted a statement from the event's general manager on why they are choosing to hold an in-person event.
Convention organizers promised that if L.A. County Health or the L.A. Mayor's Office determine they can't hold the show safely, they will postpone the convention. They also stated that buying tickets will "demonstrate to the City and County that there are many fans who would like the opportunity to go to a CV-19 safe event in 2020 — who WILL wear masks and follow all the safety protocols."
Safety protocols announced by L.A. Comic Con include:
- Requiring face masks
- Reducing capacity from 42,000 last year to 13,500 attendees
- Renting the whole convention center to allow for more space per person
- Moving the main stage to a larger room
- One-way traffic in South Hall aisles
- More frequent cleaning
- Hand-sanitizer stations
- Streaming panels
- Selling some digital-only tickets
The convention notes they have 800,000 square feet of event space available, as well as 400,000 square feet of "indoor & outdoor space to manage lines and waiting with appropriate social distancing options."
The convention was criticized in its early years (under its previous name of Comikaze Expo) after fans were left outside in the heat for hours in long lines, with fire marshals shutting the doors and not allowing more people inside.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, with L.A. Comic Con set for Friday, Dec. 11-Sunday, Dec. 13. The tickets have what the convention described as a "100% roll-over/refund guarantee."