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Emerald City Comic Con 2020 has been postponed

caption: The lobby of the Washington State Convention Center during Emerald City Comic Con.
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The lobby of the Washington State Convention Center during Emerald City Comic Con.
Dyer Oxley / KUOW

Just days after announcing that the event would continue as normal, Emerald City Comic Con announced that it will postpone its 2020 event in Seattle.

The fan convention was slated for March 12-15 at the Washington State Convention Center. It will take place over the summer of 2020. The event has a considerable economic impact on the region as it is expected to draw nearly 100,000 attendees to downtown Seattle. Many travel from out of town.

According to an official statement from ReedPop, the owner of Emerald City Comic Con:

"We have been closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 virus in Seattle, and, after many hours of conversation internally and consultation with local government officials and the tourism bureau, we have decided to move next week’s Emerald City Comic Con to Summer 2020 with date and detail announcement forthcoming. We did everything that we could to run the event as planned, but ultimately, we are following the guidance of the local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed."

Before announcing it was canceling the event, ReedPop loosened its no-refund policy to allow for ticket refunds.

Despite ReedPop’s previous decision to move forward with the event, many high-profile exhibitors had opted to cancel their ECCC commitments. This includes Portland-based Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press. Also, DC comics, Harper Collins, and Penguin Random House pulled out.

Various artists and comic guests have also cancelled recently, and a range of panels planned for the convention were called off. Celebrities also cancelled including LaVar Burton of Star Trek and Reading Rainbow fame.

In a statement earlier this week, the Washington State Convention Center said it was up to ReedPop to cancel Emerald City Comic Con, and that staff was preparing for increased cleaning. WSCC also planned to set up 50 sanitization stations throughout the event.

Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday “there could come a time” when he makes decision to halt events. He has the power to shut down large gatherings under the current emergency proclamation, but has not done so. When speaking about the issue March 5, he evoked Wuhan, China.

“For those who think that delaying or pausing this activity is premature or an undue thing to think about, we just need to think about Wuhan and what I meant for their society … we are asking people to look ahead a few weeks and not be in the position of Wuhan China. Everyone can be a leader in their family, city, county in this regard.

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