June 24, 2020
By: Tiffany Razzano
TAMPA Fla. – Though the Imaginarium Agency, which produces the Tampa Bay Comic Convention, has not made any formal announcements about the event’s fate yet, all signs are pointing to the annual con being canceled this year. The event was scheduled to take place July 10-12 at the Tampa Convention Center.
Some individuals have reportedly received iPhone notifications regarding the event’s cancelation. The event has also been removed from the Tampa Convention Center’s website. Additionally, ticket sales through Eventbrite are currently “unavailable” with no explanation why and commenting on the official Facebook event page has been disabled.
Imaginarium Agency’s media relations department did not respond to a request for comment.
In a Facebook message through Imaginarium’s page, customer service representative Carl Montes wrote, “I can only tell you to please be on the lookout for an official announcement on this Facebook page later this week. I’m afraid this is all I can say.”
In a May 19 Facebook post, Imaginarum announced that this year’s Tampa Bay Comic Convention “lives on.”
“After nearly two months of agonizing uncertainty, we have received confirmation from the Tampa Convention Center and Tampa Fire Marshal that TBCC 2020 will move forward with numerous health measures enacted by the venue and various levels of government, to keep attendees, exhibitors, guests, and staff as safe as possible,” organizers wrote.
They forged ahead, confirming guests such as Jeremy Ray Taylor (seen in the recent theatrical adaptations of Stephen King’s “It”), Kel Mitchell (Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Kenan & Kel”), Marina Sirtis (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Arrowverse star David Ramsey and actor/wrestler Kevin Nash, despite similar conventions throughout the region and across the country canceling or rescheduling their events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Diego Comic-Con, which usually takes place in July, was canceled this year. Meanwhile, local events Necronomicon and Florida Supercon have also been canceled, and a scaled-down MegaCon Orlando has been rescheduled for Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention organizers laid out a plan to keep attendees healthy and safe, including temperature screenings for everyone entering the convention center, increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in high-traffic areas, limited occupancy in certain areas of the venue, and hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue.
There has been a significant spike in positive COVID-19 cases throughout the Tampa Bay area in recent weeks.
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