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San Diego Comic-Con 2020 Is Officially Canceled, Organizers Tease At-Home Edition

New dates for 2021 have already been set

Lindsay MacDonald

Update 5/8/20: A digital version of Comic-Con is coming. In a video posted to social media, the organization revealed that it would be streaming the event, now retitled as Comic-Con @ Home. The announcement touted "free parking, comfy chairs, personalized snacks, no lines, pets welcome, badges for all" and though no specific date has been set yet, the video noted it will be coming this summer.

Update 4/17/20: Comic-Con International has announced that San Diego Comic-Con 2020 is officially canceled. The event will return July 22-25, 2021. This is the first time in the convention's 50-year history that it has had to be canceled.

"Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision," said David Glanzer, spokesperson for the organization. "We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy."

Fans who already purchased badges for this year's convention will have the choice between getting a refund or transferring their badges to next year's event. Similarly, CCI's WonderCon, which was previously postponed, will return March 26-28, 2021, in Anaheim, California.

The coronavirus shutdown has also affected the organization's plans to open the Comic-Con museum in downtown San Diego next summer. CCI is reevaluating those construction plans and expects delays, but promises the experience of the museum will not be scaled back.

TV Guide's original story is below.

Previously 4/1/20: Concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. have caused the shutdown of many businesses and cancellation of major events like E3, Coachella, and SXSW, and many fans are still concerned about the fate of San Diego Comic-Con. Organizers of the event shared an update on Twitter Wednesday, April 1, saying they are "hopeful" the con will happen as planned.

"To our amazing Comic-Con and WonderCon fans: We understand how difficult the current climate has been for all of us and appreciate your continued support through these trying times. No one is as hopeful as we are that we will be able to celebrate #SDCC2020 together come July," the official San Diego Comic-Con Twitter account posted today. "As we continue to monitor the situation with local authorities, we will post updates on our social channels! Until then, remember: 'A hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.' - Christopher Reeve."

That may be an inspiring quote from the original Man of Steel, himself, but sadly, it doesn't provide much clarity about the likelihood this event will still take place.

Comic-Con International told ABC 10News in early March that there were no plans to cancel either of its two major, upcoming events, WonderCon Anaheim and San Diego Comic-Con due to coronavirus. That statement was eventually walked back on March 12 when CCI postponed WonderCon Anaheim due to restrictions on large gatherings in the state of California.

"To protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health announced a recommendation that gatherings and events of more than 250 people should either be postponed or canceled," the updated statement read. "Comic-Con (organizer of WonderCon) will abide by this recommendation. Therefore WonderCon Anaheim, scheduled for April 10-12, 2020 in Anaheim, California, will be postponed until a later date. We will begin processing refunds in the coming days."

In regards to San Diego Comic-Con, CCI added that the organization is still monitoring the situation and has not made any official decisions about whether the event, which is supposed to take place at the end of July, will move forward as planned. It sounds like that approach has not changed, despite other major events like the Tokyo Olympics and the Wimbledon Grand in London, which were scheduled to take place in July and August, getting postponed and canceled.

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With San Diego Comic-Con still months away, there's plenty of time for CCI to wait and see how the current health crisis unfolds before making a final decision about whether to cancel the event or go on as planned. If the current health risk to con-goers does not improve, a last-minute cancellation could still be in the cards.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, coronavirus is spread from close person-to-person contact, with close being defined as six feet or less. The disease also travels through respiratory droplets that form when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC recommends that everyone take precaution by washing their hands and using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and that everyone avoid touching their face with unwashed hands. According to The New York Times, over 140,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States, and at least 2,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus.

San Diego Comic-Con is currently scheduled to take place July 23-26.

San Diego Comic-Con 2019

San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Daniel Knighton, Getty Images