Veteran NY Times entertainment business writers Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes have perhaps put the final curse on a year in which SDCC got a little bit smaller, by reviving claims that con-goers are low rent consumers unworthy of high end sponsorships:
In truth, companies that might flock to a Tribeca Film Festival, which for years was backed by American Express and now has AT&T as its lead sponsor, would do well to stick with the soft sell here, because nobody is buying much.
In a recent report from the San Diego Convention Center, where Comic-Con is held, the fantasy fans ranked first in terms of the convention center’s attendance, far outstripping the combined total of its next four largest conventions, expected to be about 62,500 people.
But the Comic-Con fans were expected to spend only about $603 each during a convention that began Wednesday night and ran through Sunday. And that was only a little more than a third of the per-capita spending by those who showed up for the American Association for Cancer Research gathering in April, and similarly lower than per-person spending at the next three largest conventions in San Diego.
At Comic-Con, dining out is apt to mean eating a sandwich while squatting on a city street.
While it’s hard to forget the searing third world image of packs of con attendees roaming the streets and gnawing chicken bones in the doorway of the Hard Rock while eluding security (isn’t there a new Image comics about this?) the whole “no one spends money at Comic-Con” still seems to be a bit of a holdover from older arguments about why the show had so little impact on the city. I’ll be back later with a longer wrap up of all the huge changes this year at the show—and intimations of more—but
(Photo by Chandler Moses for ComicsBeat)
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.