Could Otakon Return to Baltimore?

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Otakon
From Otakon 2013. Photo by Stupid Systemus.

Otakon, the amazing people-watching festival–I’m sorry, I mean anime/manga/video game fan convention–that’s been held in Baltimore since 1999 is decamping to DC next year. But don’t be so quick to say goodbye.

The fan convention, which draws tens of thousands of elaborately costumed enthusiasts and pumps millions of dollars into the local economy, opted to move because Baltimore’s convention center is, well, kind of a mess. (And also too small.)

But organizers have made it clear that they’re not happy to be leaving Baltimore behind, and are exploring options for how to make the convention center more attractive to conventions like Otakon. And¬†Otakon attendees also have been circulating a letter from Visit Baltimore, the city’s tourism board, which seems to point to a possible return “but do not consider this ‘goodbye,'” they write. “We are committed to working with Otakorp toward a future that would see Otakon return to Baltimore.”

Of course, that would require expanding the current convention center–something that might be a tricky prospect in Baltimore, where city residents are acutely aware of the shaky financial history of the center.



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