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San Diego Comic-Con Lost Over US$8 Million in 2020

The non-profit organization San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) lost over US$8 million in 2020, according to its Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report, filed with the Attorney General of California. That year was the first year SDCC had to cancel its in-person event due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The organization had a net worth of about US$25 million at the end of 2019, and a net worth of US$17 million at the end of 2020.

The report listed revenues of US$3,969,856 and expenses of $11,978,210. According to its fiscal year report for 2019, the organization had revenues of US$28.5 million and a profit of US$164,145 that year.

Public information is not available for the organization’s financial results for 2021. That year, there was only a small Comic-Con Special Edition event in November as opposed to its larger shows.

SDCC chief communications and strategy officer David Glanzer said to media news website ICv2, “While we are relieved we did not have to resort to furloughing any employees, the impact of not having an in-person convention for two years has had a negative effect on our financial resources. As you know our primary source of revenue is tickets and booth sales. The pandemic temporarily suspended those opportunities. I should point out that our organization has long had a fiscally conservative outlook… Fortunately, a vast majority of those who purchased tickets in 2019 for the 2020 show opted to have their tickets rolled over to 2021, and when restrictions continued and 2021 had to be canceled as well, most continued to be enthusiastic and chose to have them rolled over once again for the 2022 show.”

The Times of San Diego website had reported that SDCC had not filed its IRS form 990 for tax-exempt organizations on time, which could cause it to lose its non-profit status. However, Glanzer clarfied to ICv2 that SDCC filed its paperwork in November before the December 31 deadline, and that The Registry for Charitable Trusts for the State of California may not have received the form in its entirety. SDCC resubmitted the form on April 8.

In related news, the convention appointed IMG as its first licensing agency. IMG will work with SDCC to identify partners who can develop products, retail destinations, and experiences for those unable to attend the events.

This year’s in-person SDCC event will be held at the San Diego Convention Center on July 21-24.

The organizers had canceled last year’s physical event, originally scheduled for July, due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation. Instead of a physical event, the organizers held the “[email protected]” virtual event last July.

The staff held a smaller, alternative, three-day in-person convention in San Diego in November.

The staff held the [email protected] virtual event in March 2021.

Comic-Con International 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 situation. It was originally scheduled for July 2020 at the San Diego Convention Center. Instead of a physical event, organizers held a “[email protected]” virtual event that July.

Sources: ICv2 (Milton Griepp), Times of San Diego (Ken Stone), IMG

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