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In a decision that won’t be surprising to too many folks, San Diego Comic-Con officially announced that the 2020 event in Southern California will be cancelled this year, and will plan a return in July 2021.

In a statement released to the press, San Diego Comic-Con organizers state:

Recognizing that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and how many exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood, they had hoped to delay this decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer. Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year. Similarly, WonderCon Anaheim, which was to have been held April 10-12, 2020 will return to the Anaheim Convention Center from March 26-28, 2021.

Every summer, San Diego hosts one of the largest gatherings of pop-culture enthusiasts who seek to attend panels, learn about upcoming projects, interact with their idols and soak up all things entertainment. SDCC organizers make it very clear they do not take this cancellation lightly. It’s the first time in the conventions 50-year history that it has to be postponed for a full year.

What happens if you already had tickets for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con? The organizers say:

Individuals who purchased badges for Comic-Con 2020 will have the option to request a refund or transfer their badges to Comic-Con 2021. All 2020 badge holders will receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to request a refund. Exhibitors for Comic-Con 2020 will also have the option to request a refund or transfer their payments to Comic-Con 2021 and will also receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to process their request. In the next few days onPeak, Comic-Con’s official hotel affiliate, will be canceling all hotel reservations and refunding all deposits made through them. There is no need for anyone who booked through onPeak to take any action, including trying to cancel their reservations online or contacting the company via phone as the process will be handled automatically. Those who booked rooms through onPeak will be notified when refunds have been completed.

Studios and networks need San Diego Comic-Con to ramp up anticipation for upcoming feature films and seasons of genre television shows. The Hall H panel has become, over the years, one of the most prominent showcases for footage and interviews for many of our favorite film series and shows.

But with the amount of uncertainty swirling around our current day-to-day, and an inability to predict what situation California and the rest of the country will be in when July rolls around, putting San Diego Comic-Con off until 2021 seems like the only reasonable choice.