May 29th 2012 By: Graeme McMillan
Things are definitely changing for New York Comic Con
this year. Not only will the event officially merge with the concurrent New York Anime Festival
for the first time, but the combined convention may find itself out of a home, if proposed plans for a new NY convention center get the go-ahead.
Heidi Macdonald has the official PR about the merging of the two conventions
, which notes that "while NYAF will no longer be staged as a separate entity, their mission to serve the anime community will be a priority and will remain consistent with past standards of excellence." Lance Fensterman, the Group Vice President of ReedPOP, which ran both events, is quoted as saying that the folding in of NYAF into NYCC "has nothing to do with our loyalty or commitment to the anime community and everything to do with the growth and identity of New York Comic Con as a leading pop culture event."
Of course, that growth may be stunted if NYCC's home, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, is demolished to make way for a new New York convention center. That possibility explains Reed's membership in Friends of Javits, a 21-body strong organization of convention and trade show companies lobbying against a plan from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to support the construction of a larger convention center in Queens that includes tearing down the Javits.
Instead of destroying the Javits to, in theory, create business for casino operator Genting America's new center - and also open up the prime real-estate for redevelopment - the Friends of Javits are suggesting increasing the size of the Manhattan-based location to make it more attractive as a site for larger events (Perhaps surprisingly, the center is currently only the 19th largest convention center in the US, behind locations in far less popular cities). It's a futile hope, according to the president of urban-development company the Regional Plan Association, Rober Yaro, who calls the demolition of the center "inevitable."
Time for the kind of last-minute save that NYCC attendees dream of, but only thought happened in fiction, it seems. Or perhaps con-goers should just get used to the idea of trudging out to Queens for their good times. Hey, if it's okay for Spider-Man