LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — L.A. Comic Con is going forward with a live convention this coming December.
Organizers say they have been working with the L.A. Convention Center, public health and city officials and believe they have the plans and procedures in place to open safely with full COVID-19 precautions.
“If at any time LA County Health or the Mayor’s Office determine we can’t have a safe show, we’ll postpone and reschedule,” L.A. Comic Con officials said in an email. They also guaranteed that any tickets bought would be 100% rolled over or refunded in the event of a postponement or cancellation.
The original Comic-Con, typically held every year in San Diego, went virtual earlier this year after cancelling the planned live gathering for the first time in its 50-year history. Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down stadiums, concert venues and other live events that draw thousands of attendees, several big events across the state have been canceled and could make L.A. Comic Con the biggest event bringing people together this year if it goes forward.
L.A. Comic Con will take place Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13, with a morning and an evening session each day. Organizers say they have rented out the entire LA Convention Center so they can manage lines, waiting and events over the convention center’s 800,000 square feet of exhibit and panel room space with appropriate social distancing.
Compared to last year’s event, which had 42,000 attendees, the planned 2020 event will be limited to 13,500 attendees, each of whom will have a minimum of 28 square feet of space – the equivalent of standing in a circle with a 6-foot diameter, event organizers said. Ticket sales will be limited to no more than 12,000 tickets at any individual session of the event.
Face masks will be required and provided for free to anyone who needs one. “Real heroes wear masks!” L.A. Comic Con officials declared in their email to fans.
Organizers say they will move its main stage from the South Hall to the 145,000-square-foot West Hall and sell timed tickets to fans seeking celebrity autographs and photos. Only those with a photo/autograph appointment, which will last just 30 minutes, will be allowed to enter the autograph hall. There will be fewer celebrities on hand for this year’s event, organizers said, but there will still be between 15-20 celebrities and five to eight panels to choose from at all times.
L.A. Comic Con organizers did not say if any celebrities had committed to the 2020 event.
And even though the main stage and other panels may have limited capacity, the event’s organizers say all events will be broadcast live online to all onsite ticket holders.