Who’s bidding for the Worldcon? Here is a summary of ongoing bids pieced together from the presentations at LoneStarCon 3, the 2012 Smofcon, plus other online discussions – and my own Machiavellian speculation thrown in for seasoning.
There is an unopposed bid for Kansas City.
Kansas City, Missouri: KC in 2016 proposes to hold the con August 17-21 at Bartle Hall and the Kansas City Convention Center.
Kansas City is a sentimental favorite in some quarters after losing three Worldcon bids in a decade — 2000 (chairs Jim and Susan Satterfield), 2006 and 2009 (both chaired by Margene Bahm).
The current bid’s co-chairs are Diane Lacey, Jeff Orth, and Ruth Lichtwardt. The committee is Chaz Boston Baden, Margene Bahm, Warren Buff, Aurora Celeste, Glenn Glazer, Barry Haldiman, Sheril Harper, Parris McBride Martin, Tim Miller, James Murray, Paula Murray, Mark Olson, Priscilla Olson, Jesi Lipp Pershing, John C. Pershing II, John J. Platt IV, Keith Stokes, Beth Welsh, Ben Yalow, Jim Young.
George R.R. Martin has plugged the bid.
There are four bids in various early stages of activity, Helsinki, Montréal, “Northeast Corridor” (USA) and Nippon.
Helsinki, Finland: This is a rollover of Helsinki’s narrowly-defeated bid for 2015. Eemeli Aro will chair, with Karoliina Leikomaa as the bid’s Project Manager. Other committee members are Crystal Huff, Jukka Halme and Hanna Hakkarainen.
They propose to hold the convention in August 2017 at the Messukeskus, the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre.
The committee has posted details about its goals here, adding that 2017 is Finland’s centennial year as an independent nation.
One bidder observed that many Helsinki supporters who voted in the 2015 race will acquire supporting memberships in the Spokane Worldcon, making cost less of a factor in qualifying as 2017 site selection voters. I still wonder how the Helsinki committee resisted the temptation to bid for 2016, whose Worldcon site will be decided by members of Loncon 3, among them a very large number of European fans.
URL: http://helsinkiin2017.org/ — presently just leads to a Google doc of the bid announcement.
Montréal, Canada: Originally announced as a 2019 bid, the Montréal committee has now set its sights on 2017. The Montréal group proposes to return the Worldcon to the Palais de Congrés, the 2009 Worldcon facility, over August 17-21, 2017.
When questioned at the 2012 Smofcon, Montréal responded that its bid co-chairs are Terry Fong and Diane Lacey, and the committee presently included Robbie Bourget, Liz Cano, Bruce Farr, Terry Fong, Eugene Heller, Dina Krause, Diane Lacey, and Jannie Shea.
René Walling, who chaired the 2009 Wordcon and made Montreal’s original bid presentation at the 2011 Smofcon, is no longer named as a member of the committee.
The bid has no dedicated online presence – webpage, Facebook or Twitter.
NEC (Northeast Corridor): Despite a bidcom that combines the crews of BWAWA, Inc. (Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association) and SPRAWL (the Sprawl in William Gibson’s fiction is a colloquial name for the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis) no one has suggested nicknaming the bid 17 for ’17. But I have hope.
The entire list of cities under consideration by NEC has not been published although Laurie Mann has not been shy about the fact that Pittsburgh is one of them. Washington D.C. and Baltimore have been named elsewhere. Warren Buff and Michael Nelson say they are working with several venues and have offers from most of them. Kris “Nchanter” Snyder is also a bid member.
Recent construction in the Washington D.C. area has made the city a viable Worldcon candidate once again. Washington DC’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center opened in 2003 but not until November 2011 was ground broken on a 1,167-room Marriott Marquis across the street. Fans have long considered such a hotel the essential missing piece in any plan to return the Worldcon to Washington.
At LoneStarCon 3 Buff promised details will be revealed in December, which I expect means at Smofcon.
URL: http://bwawa.org/ (No information currently posted.)
Nippon: The Nippon in 2017 committee has shortlisted three cities as possible sites: Yokohama (where the 2007 Worldcon was held), Chiba, and Shizuoka. They would hold the con in August.
Members of the bid are Andrew A. Adams, Masaharu Imaoka, Mutsumi Imaoka, Kyoko Ogushi, Hideaki Kawai, Koji Kurakata, Tomoki Kodama, Trevor Knudsen, Shigeru Hayashida, Vincent Docherty, Mike “Sparks” Rennie,
The Nippon in 2017 bid is immediately handicapped by questions about the huge loss incurred by the 2007 Worldcon in Japan whose full dimensions were not revealed until 2012. Bid spokespersons say funding for 2017 is separate. In a move to bolster their credibility they’ve added Vince Docherty to lead the finance division. A great deal more will need to be done to persuade voters that it is economically practical to hold another Worldcon in Japan.
A New Orleans group is considering launching a bid.
Members of the New Orleans in 2018 Pre-Bid Committee are Raymond Boudreau (Chair), Michael Guerber, Cordelia (Colin) Murphy, Rebecca Smith, Jessica Styons and Kendall Varnell.
Committee member Jessica Styons told File 770, “Obviously we are in the early stages of building support, gauging interest and staking a claim but we are interested in all comments, offers of support and assistance.” Rebecca Smith, chair of CONtraflow, is part of the bid.
Two bids are on the radar for 2019.
Dublin, Ireland: James Bacon unveiled the Dublin bid at LoneStarCon 3 and it will officially launch next year at LonCon 3.
They propose to hold the Worldcon in the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) from August 14-19, 2019. There are 1,268 hotel rooms are available within 850 meters or half a mile of the convention center.
The website lists the bid committee’s “Home Team” as:
Shelly Coleman, Carol Connolly, Pat Fanning, Malcolm Hutchison, Gareth Kavanagh, Dave Lally, Ted Lee, Ruth Long, Aisling Lynch, Cat McGrath, Maura McHugh, Alissa McKersie, CE Murphy, Sonia Murphy, Brian Nisbet, Mick O’Connor, Rod O’Hanlon, Peadar Ó’Guilín, Trish O’Flaherty, Sorcha Power, Helen Ryder, Philippa Ryder, Lynda E. Rucker, James Shields, Sten Thaning, Julian West, Nicholas Whyte.
And its “Away Team” includes:
Eemeli Aro, Claire Brialey, Liz Batty, Steve Cooper, John Dowd, Vincent Docherty, Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf, Deb Geisler, Colin Harris, Nigel Furlong, Mark Herrup, Edward James, Alice Lawson, Mark Meenan, Farah Mendlesohn, Helen Montgomery, Mark Plummer, TR Renner, Ian Stockdale, Geri Sullivan, Paul Taylor, Kees Van Toorn.
Though not listed, I suspect James Bacon’s name also belongs somewhere in the mix too…
France: Is there a genuine French bid? Who is behind it? Is it a plan or just a wish?
So far as I have been able to find out, the torch is being carried by a small number of visionaries both in and out of French fandom.
Created early this year, a Paris in 2019 webpage invited queries which were answered by UK fan David Steere. He said this is a bid by fans in the UK and France that aims to launch at LonCon 3.
However, since 2009 there has been a Facebook club, Pour l’organisation dune WorldCon SF en France. The initial entry credits Florence Dolisi with the idea to bid for France, inspired by the 2009 Worldcon in Quebec. That post suggested an attitude of openness to anybody who might actually deliver the con –
At the moment there no identified structure, no Committee, no plan of action, but an obvious willingness, now the movement is launched, to lead, and to be able to get useful. [Rendered into English by Google Translate.]
In April 2013, Bernard Henninger collected 33 names of fans willing to support the idea. And Henninger wrote again in August that the idea created a stir at the 2013 Eurocon in the Ukraine – including a show of interest from Finnish fan Eemeli Aro.
So it remains to be seen whether enough French fans want a Worldcon for a solid bid to emerge anytime in the future.
Paris in 2019 URL: https://sites.google.com/site/parisin2019/
France in 2019 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pour-lorganisation-dune-WorldCon-SF-en-France-/177006215665
The one serious bid is for New Zealand.
New Zealand in 2020 is led by Norman Cates, a past DUFF delegate. The general committee members are Kevin Maclean (New Zealand), Maree Pavletich (New Zealand), Lynelle Howell (New Zealand), Malcolm Fletcher (New Zealand), Louise McCully (New Zealand), Struan Judd (New Zealand), Daphne Lawless, Andrew Ivamy (Queensland, AU Agent), James Shields (European Agent).
They have yet to settle on which of the country’s two main islands they’d hold a Worldcon. There are said to be two facilities in Auckland and one in Wellington that could support a 1500-3000 member con. They would hold the con anywhere from late June to late August.
At LSC3 a potential 2021 North Texas bid was announced by FenCon’s Tim Miller.
There are also plans for a Chicago in 2022 bid.
Fannish Inquisition questionnaires submitted to Smofcon 30 (December 2012).
Kansas City, Worldcon Bid, 2016
Montreal, Worldcon Bid, 2017
Nippon, Worldcon Bid, 2017
New Zealand, Worldcon Bid, 2020
Videos of Worldcon bid presentations at LoneStarCon 3 (September 2013) taken by Lisa Hayes.
Part 6: Nippon 2017 Bid
Part 7: Montreal 2017 Bid
Part 8: Baltimore-Washingon in 2017 or later Exploratory Committee
Part 9: Dublin in 2019
Part 10: New Zealand in 2020
Part 11: North Texas in 2021