There’s no room for debate: Otakon is a good thing for Baltimore. If you like anime, it brings you a host of likeminded folks from around the country; if you like people watching, it brings you thousands of characters in various elaborate costumes for your gawking pleasure; if you like money, you can rest satisfied knowing that the conference boosts the city’s economy by millions of dollars. (And Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” always gets a little more compelling during Otakon season.) Well, enjoy it while you can — Otakon just announced that it’ll be moving to DC, in part because “the Baltimore Convention Center has not aged gracefully,” according to organizers.
The move won’t happen until 2017, but it’s pretty much a done deal; Otakon has pledged to remain in DC for at least five years. The convention center last received a major update more than two decades ago. A $1 billion plan to revamp and expand the convention center and build a new arena and hotel next door has run into some funding issues. Otakon officials mentioned that they haven’t ruled out an eventual return to Baltimore — but the necessary updates would have to happen first.