Rendering courtesy of Comic-Con. The San Diego Comic Convention has set a late November soft opening for the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.

Rendering courtesy of Comic-Con. The San Diego Comic Convention has set a late November soft opening for the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.

Comic-Con Museum, the project spearheaded by The San Diego Comic Convention, the purveyors of Comic-Con International: San Diego, is finally opening in November.

Located in Balboa Park, the Comic-Con Museum is approximately 68,000 square feet and will be able to host up to 650 attendees at any given time, said David Glanzer, chief communications and strategy officer of Comic-Con. The institution is projected to garner approximately $3 million in revenue its first year, he said, and see 100,000 to 150,000 visitors the first 365 days of operation.


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David Glanzer Chief Communications and Strategy Officer Comic-Con Museum

Comic-Con Museum currently has 15,000 members, Glanzer added.


The Comic-Con Museum was originally set to open in 2020. However, the challenges with COVID-19 delayed the efforts, he said. As of press time, the soft opening of the primary exhibit space on the ground floor and the educational center on the second floor is scheduled for Nov. 26.


Accessible Throughout the Year


“The organization had long considered a gallery or some permanent space that could highlight the variety of art featured at Comic-Con,” said Glanzer. “In 2016, we learned that a building in Balboa Park might be available for a new museum. While this was a larger endeavor than we had originally considered, after much discussion and consideration, the plan was to move forward with the Comic-Con Museum as a location that would feature the best that the Comic-Con convention offers, but in a venue that is accessible throughout the year.”


The budget for the capital project is $26 million, said Glanzer. The funding has been raised via grants, donors, sponsorships and the San Diego Comic Convention, he said. KCM Group in Pacific Beach is the project manager for the construction and Miramar-based Bycor is the general contractor, Glanzer added.


The museum will continue to evolve over the next few years, said Glanzer.


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Peter Comiskey Executive director Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

Peter Comiskey, executive director of Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, said the addition of  the Comic-Con Museum will elevate the Park's overall economic impact.


"As the much loved heart of San Diego Arts and Culture for San Diegans and a key destination for tourists, Balboa Park will take an exciting new step forward with the opening of Comic-Con," he said. "From an economic impact perspective, in a normal year, the Balboa Park Cultural District delivers over $670M in economic impact for the city of San Diego. We can be certain that the introduction of such a unique destination venue with such a strong and identifiable brand will elevate that further."


Activations will include panels, creator meet-and-greets, experiential cinema, watch parties, eSports, cosplay shows and concerts, among other planned experiences.

 
Added Glanzer, “The Museum will continue to evolve over the next few years as each phase of the Museum comes to life. There are three floors in the building that will be renovated and expanded to increase exhibit area, the educational center, theatre, retail outlet, cafe, community programming and special event areas.”


Once Completed


Once the Museum is completed, visitors can expect a facility that offers interactive experiences, classrooms, and exhibits on all areas of popular art, said Glanzer.


Comic-Con Museum
FOUNDED: November 2021
VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT: Melissa Peterman
HEADQUARTERS: Balboa Park
BUSINESS: Museum inspired by Comic-Con International: San Diego
REVENUE: Nearly $3M projected for first year
EMPLOYEES: 15-20 full time
WEBSITE: 
www.comic-con.org/museum
NOTABLE: Already has 15,000 members.
CONTACT: Rita Vandergaw, 619-414-1020