No lie, this might be the biggest change at the San Diego Comic-Con since they started moving events to the hotels. The city of San Diego, Convention Center Corp., the Port of San Diego and Comic-Con International have all teamed up for a big change in the way the convention center is accessed during the con, the SD Union Tribune reports.
Harbor Drive – the busy street in front of the center – will be closed for the event, and the area in front of the convention center – usually used for shuttle bus loading – will be a totally pedestrian walkway.
However, it will also be open to badge holders ONLY.
The result will be a much more open pedestrian area that will add as much as 34 feet in additional width beyond the sidewalk, which ranges in width from 21 feet to 24 feet, according to the Convention Center Corp.
Shuttle buses, which largely pick up attendees staying in area hotels, will in turn be relocated to Harbor Drive.
SD Convention Center CEO “Rip” Rippetoe is all for the change:
“I’ve run state fairs and major marathons and festivals where streets have been closed and from my point of view it was a prudent thing to take a look at this, so that was part of the catalyst.”
As 135,000 badged attendees and as many as 30-50,000 people without badges flood downtown San Diego, this is a very smart move that will make the whole event safer. Everyone knows the 7 pm crush outside the con as it closes and everyone races to cross the street or get on the buses is one of the most horrible, taxing things about the show.
Although not explicitly mentioned in the story, aside from “security issues,” this could also be a way of putting in metal detectors, a feature of most major comic cons across the nation now.
And of course, at night you can still get stuck behind the chicken train – the mile long fright train that whistles its lonely call through the midnight hours.