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San Diego's Comic-Con has sent a cease and desist order to Salt Lake City Comic Con. According to Salt Lake's papers, the Tribune and Deseret News, Salt Lake has no intention of backing down. It doesn't know if San Diego's Comic-Con will pursue a lawsuit. Salt Lake may recruit support from dozens of other cities that have a "Comic Con" event.

According to the Deseret News, San Diego holds the trademark on "Comic-Con" with a hyphen "but abandoned its 1995 bid for the moniker 'Comic Con' with a space," not a hyphen. Salt Lake expects to draw 120,000 people to its Comic Con September 4 to 6 this year.

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aardvark Aug. 8, 2014 @ 7:49 p.m.

120,000 people at SLC Comic Con over 3 days in a slightly larger convention center (679,000 sq ft vs 615,700 sq ft) than San Diego's 120,000 over 4 days in a terribly overcrowded (allegedly) facility. If San Diego's ComicCon does move, it would be a loss of varying importance (depending on who you talk to), but there appears to be many places available to move in the vicinity. I think they will end up in Las Vegas.

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Burwell Aug. 8, 2014 @ 9:30 p.m.

There's already a Comic Con in Las Vegas. About the only place there's no Comic Con is Anaheim. The City should demand $5 million in rent from Comic-Con for use of the convention center instead of giving them a discount. Comic-Con is not going to move from San Diego. If there are too many attendees for the convention center, then organizers should raise ticket prices to cut the number of attendees to a reasonable number. Let the free market work.

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aardvark Aug. 8, 2014 @ 11:16 p.m.

Didn't know there was one there already, but I'm not surprised. I agree they should raise ticket prices, and even though it makes sense to raise rental rates on the convention center as well, as long as the expansion is delayed, the rates will either stay the same or decrease even more. I believe the rental fee has already been agreed upon at $150,000 through 2016. As you say, Anaheim is available. Since Vegas is out, I would say then that Anaheim will be ComicCon's home starting in 2017.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7:38 a.m.

aardvark: Are you sure it would make sense to raise rental rates on the convention center? Raise rates when other convention centers are slashing rates, and some are making slashes of more than 100%? Not only that, but researchers in the convention center industry say that to achieve balance, some convention centers must close.

Raising convention center rates is suicide. I agree with you that rates in San Diego will go down. Perhaps sharply. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill Aug. 9, 2014 @ 6:53 p.m.

From a business perspective I would think that it would make sense to raise ticket prices. I would also think that it would make sense to find a way to sell tickets online without multiple web-site crashes.

The Comic-Con directors obviously don't agree.

They could raise ticket prices and sell tickets through Ticketmaster (which would do their usual gouging but would be reliable). I think that the way they sell tickets is part of their way of doing things. They sell inexpensive tickets but make them really hard to buy. You have to go online multiple times until they finally have a sale that doesn't crash.

Part of the nerd-cool appeal to the event I guess.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:13 p.m.

ImJustABill: Sometimes ineptitude is mistaken for a Machiavellian ploy. This may be one such case. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7:27 a.m.

Burwell: Apparently, a number of cities already have Comic Cons (no hyphens). San Diego's is pursuing the Salt Lake City version in court.

As you know, the discount to Comic-Con comes about because of the massive glut of convention center space in the U.S. San Diego is slashing prices, and some centers are slashing prices down to below zero -- in effect, they are paying conventions to come to their cities. That is a massive taxpayer subsidy to hoteliers, who already receive too many subsidies.

As you point out, the decision to raise prices to attendees would be made by Comic-Con. Would it prefer raising prices to finding another venue? San Diego's desire to add more space in the teeth of a glut, just to accommodate Comic-Con, is economic insanity. But hardly surprising. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:06 p.m.

I am saying Comic Con cannot move and the City has the organization by the short hairs. The City should demand 50% of the gross to use the convention center. U-T San Diego recently reported that the convention center needs $40 million to pay for deferred maintenance and the canvas roof is falling apart. The City needs to squeeze every dollar it can from Comic Con and they will pay up regardless of their hollow threat to move.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:16 p.m.

Burwell: I wish I were as confident as you that San Diego has Comic-Con by the short hairs and could demand 50% of the gross. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:19 p.m.

The City could also kick the Comic Con organization out of the convention center and arrange for promotors of similar conventions in other cities to take over Comic Con in San Diego. The new promotor would have to use a different name of course. But it would be the same show absent the arrogant jerks who are blackmailing the City

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Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2014 @ 12:26 p.m.

Burwell: But arrogant jerks -- not just from Comic Cons but from all kinds of conventions -- are blackmailing almost all the big metro areas. Convention centers are vastly overbuilt. With supply-demand completely out of whack, it is a buyer's market everywhere. Convention centers are literally paying conventions to use their space.

Because of the glut -- for which cities have nobody to blame but themselves -- blackmail has become the name of the game. It will get worse as more centers are built and existing ones expanded.

Comic-Con is an apt name. Because of their pathetic stupidity, convention centers are being conned comically all over the U.S. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7:18 a.m.

aardvark: Las Vegas certainly has the convention space, and the -- er, uh -- amenities that might be more alluring to the Comic-Con attendees.

Incidentally, I saw in the U-T this morning that San Diego's Comic-Con has filed suit. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Aug. 9, 2014 @ 4:06 p.m.

Don: After being in Las Vegas 2 weeks ago, it appears that there is a version of ComicCon every day and night both on The Strip and Downtown. Lots of people dressed up in costume looking for whatever they can get.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:17 p.m.

aardvark: Vegas at night is rather comical. Daytime, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7:32 a.m.

Or Comic Con could end up like COMDEX (for years the largest computer convention - held in Las Vegas) and disintegrate. There are comic con (clones/variations) in every city going on year round. This weekend there are ones in Boston, Reno, Stockton and Pensacola. Next weekend; Bridgeport, Connecticut and Little Rock, Arkansas. Comic Con has not grown too big for the convention center, it has grown too big for itself. It's become a one-size-fits-all muumuu that specializes in nothing. Except excess; excessive cost, lines, parking, waiting... I know people that, after years of attending, are no longer interested in the event and have given up going because it's changed so much from when it was "fun." It's not fun now, it's a chore.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7:46 a.m.

Ponzi: Who is sponsoring the Comic Cons in other cities? Do the producers of San Diego's Comic-Con have their toes in other markets? What does the San Diego Comic-Con think it will gain by suing Salt Lake City's Comic Con, when there are so many others that it could sue? Or have the others been added to the suit?

So many questions.... I have never been to a Comic-Con and would never go near one, but I wonder if this is another hula hoop? Best, Don Bauder

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Scott Marks Aug. 9, 2014 @ 9:24 a.m.

Cook 'em sweet, or cook 'em sour, it's all a big con.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 12:53 p.m.

Scott Marks: It may be culturally insulting to the community, but it is not a con. Attendees believe they are getting their money's worth. Best.

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Scott Marks Aug. 10, 2014 @ 11:05 a.m.

It's a con in the sense that it represents everything that's wrong with contemporary cinema.

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Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2014 @ 12:32 p.m.

Scott Marks: It's also a con game in that convention centers are being conned because of their own ineptitude. Convention centers have vastly overexpanded. In a competitive market, they are giving space away. The Comic Cons are taking advantage of this. Convention centers have conned themselves. Best, Don Bauder

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Peter Salisbury Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:52 a.m.

San Diego Comic-Con International is not about space or lack of it. It is about the atmosphere in and around the Con. It is the with-in walking distance hotels, restaurants, theaters, stores, and venues. It is the public transportation that can be taken to the Con from the airport, train station, or in my case my home. In an interview I did with SDCC Marketing Director David Glanzer several years ago he talked about the thousands of volunteers needed to make the Con a success. We agreed that no other state, city, or venue would be able to provide such an experienced army of local volunteers without years of preparation. No matter what anyone says there will always be a Comic Con in San Diego. Hyphen or no hyphen.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 12:59 p.m.

Peter Salisbury: You may be right, but Comic-Con appears to be the kind of fad that could evanesce. Today, you can't imagine any such circumstances, but history shows that change can be rapid. Best, Don Bauderr

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ImJustABill Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7 p.m.

I think that Comic-Con should and will stay in SD even without an expansion. If they move it to Anaheim or LA it will be a much different atmosphere and that's when it might evanesce. Look at what happened to Street Scene when they tried to move it because they thought it had outgrown downtown. I know, not a perfect analogy - but I still think if it ain't broke don't fix it and Comic-Con in the existing Convention Center in SD ain't broken.

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aardvark Aug. 9, 2014 @ 7:25 p.m.

I thought Street Scene moved because downtown out-grew Street Scene--parking lots were disappearing that they had previously used for stage sites.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:23 p.m.

aardvark: I don't know about Street Scene but parking is tougher downtown. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:19 p.m.

ImJustABill: Comic-Con definitely is not broken now. No question about that. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 9, 2014 @ 8:29 p.m.

don bauder Comic-Con was already being held when I moved to San Diego in 1976. It's been around for 40 some years. That would seem to indicate that it's not just some kind of fad that could evanesce.

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Don Bauder Aug. 9, 2014 @ 11:26 p.m.

danfogel: I understand it slowly gained momentum over those years. It would seem to be peaking now, although there may be no decline for awhile. The whole thing strikes me as something that could disappear. Tastes change.Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 10, 2014 @ 6:32 p.m.

don bauder nothing lasts forever, I agree. I just choose not to call something that has been around 40+ years a fad. If you choose to, so be it. If that's the case then, would the San Diego opera closing after 50 yrs make it a fad also??

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Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2014 @ 9:34 p.m.

danfogel: Opera dates back to the Renaissance. I would say more than 400 years doesn't make it a fad. But it is in trouble, without question. San Diego Opera will go beyond its 50th year, I sincerely hope. Best, Don Bauder

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danfogel Aug. 11, 2014 @ 11:06 a.m.

I didn't say Opera, I specified SAN DIEGO OPERA. By your definition, I believe that would make opera in San Diego a fad. No matter, I'm just yankin' your chain.

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Don Bauder Aug. 11, 2014 @ 12:42 p.m.

danfogel: I know you didn't say "opera," but I did. It has been around since the Renaissance. It is true that opera companies, as well as symphony orchestras are having deep troubles. However, I would not say that classical music was or is a "fad." I think of a fad as a passing fancy. The word doesn't apply to an opera company or a baseball team, for that matter.

There are fads within opera. Suddenly, a singer will rise up and be adored worldwide. Just as quickly, the singer will disappear. The singer was a fad or passing fancy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2014 @ 12:47 p.m.

La Playa Heritage: What a list! Comic Cons or clones everywhere. Best, Don Bauder

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