WonderCon Moving to Los Angeles for 2016 Convention

Wondercon
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

WonderCon is officially moving from Anaheim to Los Angeles in 2016, AEG Facilities confirmed Monday. The Los Angeles Convention Center will play host to the annual comic event on March 25-27 next year.

The con was launched in Oakland in 1987 and was held in the Bay Area until 2011, when it moved to Anaheim, where it has remained for the past four years. As the convention continues to expand in content and attendance (it drew more than 60,000 visitors in 2014), it has strained the city’s parking resources and threatened to outgrow the Anaheim Convention Center, prompting fans to speculate over a possible move.

San Diego is facing a similar issue with WonderCon’s sister show, Comic-Con International, which draws almost double the number of attendees as WonderCon. Each year, the Comic-Con hotel lottery sells out of downtown hotel rooms in a matter of minutes, creating major headaches for out-of-town attendees who flood the city for the four-day event. Los Angeles is actively trying to lure Comic-Con International away from San Diego, with Las Vegas also considered a possible alternative as the convention grows.  For now, the relocation to Los Angeles is believed to be temporary, as WonderCon’s proposed dates conflict with other events at the Anaheim Convention Center, but L.A. will likely be looking to make the move permanent.

“Los Angeles is honored to have been selected as the destination for WonderCon 2016. We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with Comic-Con International, the presenter, and helping them establish a home base in L.A. We anticipate the show to be highly attended and to set the precedent for future successful Comic-Con events in L.A.,” remarked Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LATCB) sales and marketing team, the Los Angeles Convention Center, AEG, and the hotel and business community have extensively collaborated to offer a mutually beneficial proposal that would be appealing to WonderCon and its attendees while simultaneously driving millions of dollars in economic impact for the City of Los Angeles,” commented Jon F. Vein, president of the board of the Los Angeles Convention & Tourism Development Commissioners.

“We’re accustomed to hosting large-scale, highly attended events here at the Los Angeles Convention Center and our neighboring L.A. Live Campus. Los Angeles is the second largest market in the country, positioned at the doorstep to Hollywood and offers unparalleled natural growth for WonderCon,” added Brad Gessner, AEG Facilities senior VP and general manager for the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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  1. Tuyet says:

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  2. aa says:

    LA parking sucks and too far Anaheim is better so is parking.

  3. Enrico says:

    I’ve been going to these conventions since last year…LA already has E3, Anime and Comikaze. Anaheim has Gamestop and WonderCon.

    Anaheim has way better parking (Gardenwalk Garage best place to park when FULL). It has better layout (Halls, rooms, Arena, inside food catering).
    And FOOD TRUCKS are best, even though it will be long lines. There were like 20.

    I went to Comikaze last year the food trucks are limited onsite and across street. Take a chance with street vendor serving hot dogs if u like, I’m not.
    The best parking would b inside, but get there EARLIER than usual, I had to park under Freeway (near Venice/Flower) hoping no bum would ask for change. It felt very unsecured. Ladies don’t walk by self, go with the crowd (parking Staples or Nokia direction)

    Sum it up, if this first time going to LA Convention Center, be prepared for a change. I hope Anaheim CC will be ready 2017. Already anticapating for Anaheim then the one in LA, how sad…

  4. Trepidatiuos says:

    I notice not one quote from any official of Wonder Con or Comic Con San Diego. Is it fact or wishful thinking?

    • Good observation. But this article is a reblog. It has been covered on the Facebook WonderCon page, and the LACC official website.

      Also note that LA is hoping for a permanent move. The contract is currently only for one year.
      It is speculated that this move is only because the ACC is being remodeled, so expected to come back.

      Seeing how Stan Lee’s Comikaze Con is already at LACC, I personally don’t expect it to stay.

      And I would expect the Anaheim or SC show to move to LV to accommodate the sell-out and hotel issues.

  5. g.g. says:

    I don’t know about having both cons come to LA. I like the idea of ComicCon going to LV. One of the 2 should be in another city. Or further apart?

  6. Sk8ndolls says:

    Not enough hotel rooms within walking distance. Not a cosplayers dream, taking mass transit or paying $$$$ for close parking.

    • g.g. says:

      There are plenty of hotels and I was disappointed with the hotel in Anaheim, so hopefully this works out better for many. Not that I personally will need it in LA. Many of the attendees were from LA. Plus, there are a lot of airbnb options in LA that would be way better. And there are plenty of indie transport companies with reasonable prices for cosplayers who don’t want to ride public transport. The subway is reliable and cheap for those not dressing up. Parking was expensive in Anaheim also. There are deals in the area and chances to pre-purchase. I think this is great news for this con.

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