Petco Park

SDCC After Dark

I promised you more about Comic Con, and here it is!  Have you ever wondered what happens when the sun goes down and the Exhibit Hall closes for the night?  If you thought Comic Con was done at 7pm, you’re very wrong.  That’s when some say it starts to come alive.

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Every year the San Diego Symphony presents a special Summer Pops presentation, and this year they did three different shows including a salute to the music of Danny Elfman as well as a performance of the music from the rebooted Star Trek franchise while the movie played onscreen.  Like I said, everyone gets in on the Comic Con action.

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If you decide to venture out into the Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll see that the whole area is celebrating.  Petco Park is the home base for Nerd HQ as well as The Walking Dead Escape.

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Nerd HQ is the brainchild of Zachary Levi, creator of the Nerd Machine.  Nerd HQ is open throughout SDCC and is free to everyone.  It’s a great place to hang out, play games, take photos, and meet celebrities.  They also host popular conversation style panels with stars of movies and television that are so popular that the tickets sell out in seconds.

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While wandering around the Gaslamp, you’ll see that SyFy has once again taken over Mary Jane’s Cafe at the Hard Rock Hotel.  In the past the restaurant has featured decor from Eureka and Defiance.  This year the theme celebrated the upcoming series Ascension, an outer space sci-fi drama set in the atomic era.

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Meanwhile, back at the Convention Center, there are panels still going after the Exhibit Hall closes, along with movie screenings and special events, such as the Klingon Lifestyle Presentation. However, on Saturday night the Convention center comes alive when the Masquerade takes over Ballroom 20.  There are multiple broadcasts of the popular event so that everyone can watch the dozens of handmade costumes and their presentations.  The best place to watch the event is under the sails in the Sails Pavilion. 

 

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 There, you can enjoy snacks like the infamous Comic Con street nachos and this year’s dessert, True Blood cupcakes.

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Once the Masquerade goes to the judging stage, the lights go down and the music pumps up as the Sails Pavilion turns into a giant dance party.  

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And then, when you’re ready to go home or return to your comfy hotel room, you catch one of the 24-hour shuttles back to where you need to go so you can do it all again the next day!

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Nerdvana in San Diego: It’s Time for Comic Con 2014

Eight years ago you could buy a 4-day pass to Comic Con and walk in the front door when the Exhibit Hall opened.  Syfy had huge installations in the middle of the floor, and their booth was surrounded by Pokemon and D&D gaming tables.  

Now, people enter a lottery to be able to buy badges, and the Exhibit Hall floor is crowded beyond belief.  Vendors are on a waiting list to get in.  Syfy has moved across the street to the Hard Rock.  In fact, many of the neighboring hotels have taken advantage of SDCC by sharing their ballrooms and convention spaces for extra panels.  Even Petco Park has cashed in as it hosts The Walking Dead Escape.

Personally, as a native San Diegan, I think that SDCC is a welcome boon to our city and I support anything that needs to happen to keep SDCC here.  SDCC was born here, after all, and the money generated from out-of-town guests is more than we’ll ever see from the Chargers.  I think SDCC should be a city-wide event, spreading beyond the confines of the Gaslamp to other areas of San Diego.  

I get as excited about the SDCC banners going up along Harbor Drive as I get when I see the first Christmas trees during the holiday season.  

SDCC is a nerd’s paradise.  I’m so glad to be a part of it!

(That said, watch for my coverage of SDCC here on my blog and on Twitter @SarabethPollock

SDCC Badges…May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

Are you sitting in the waiting room trying to get tickets for SDCC 2014?  Comic Con badges are fast becoming the most elusive ticket around. 

New this year–you get into the waiting room and then you are randomly assigned a number.  You can wait for hours or you might wait for minutes.  Either way, no one is guaranteed a badge.

What this means is that the San Diego Convention Center absolutely needs to expand.  As a San Diego native, the expansion is the only major construction project I support.  Screw the Chargers stadium. We need more room for SDCC.  The folks at SDCC also need to start thinking outside the box…and outside the Convention Center.  Frankly, if they utilized the surrounding hotels and the Gaslamp more, they could have a world class venue.  And why not transfer Hall H activities to Petco Park? Think about it–what a great way to increase the size of the venue and stop the awful lines.  Why not require tickets to the big panels…no charge, just pre-registered, so that people can do more than just spend their time in line.  Less time in line means more people out spending their money, after all.

But these are just random musings.  What do I know?

Good luck to the people in the Waiting Room this morning.  As they say in Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”