Future Worldcon Bids

Here is a summary of ongoing bids for the Worldcon pieced together from the “Fannish Inquisition” at Renovation and online discussions I’ve seen since then:

2014: London

If the bid is successful, the convention will be held from August 14-18, 2014 (Thursday to Monday) in the International Convention Centre, which is part of the ExCeL exhibition centre complex in London’s Docklands. 

London in 2014 bid committee members Claire Brialey and James Bacon just won Hugo Awards at Renovation — Claire for Best Fan Writer and James for Best Fanzine (The Drink Tank, also edited by Christopher J Garcia).

During the ”Fannish Inquisition” at Renovation a member of the audience asked an unusual question and Petréa Mitchell captured the response: “The proposed site does have a variety of hotel types, but sadly, none of them is old enough to be haunted yet.”

2014 NASFiC: Phoenix, Arizona (using a facility in Tempe)

In Reno, Mike Willmorth said the planned location is the Tempe Mission Palms in downtown Tempe, Arizona.  It has been the site for previous events like the 2009 North American Discworld Convention and FiestaCon (Westercon 62).

Asked if Phoenix might try to combine NASFiC with Westercon, Willmorth said no, he was aware Utah is bidding for the 2014 Westercon and he didn’t want to “step on toes.”

2015: There are two bids, Orlando, Florida and Spokane, Washington. Spokane’s dates would be in mid-August, and Orlando’s would be Labor Day weekend.

Orlando, Florida: Adam Beaton made a presentation at Reno, and later answered questions I posed by e-mail:

We do think our facilities are a plus to our bid – we’re also planning on extending our room block far enough both before and after Worldcon so anyone who chooses to also enjoy Walt Disney World and Orlando can do so at a reduced resort rate.  How far is currently under negotiation.

Yes, we are bidding the traditional Labor Day weekend, which will be September 2-6, 2015 (Wed-Sun).  No, we’re not daunted by Dragon*Con in Atlanta – one thing I brought up at the meeting is that we honestly do not feel Worldcon vs Dragon*Con is a zero sum game, meaning for Worldcon to win Dragon*Con has to lose.  There’s enough fandom to go around for everyone.  Frankly, we’d rather work with Dragon*Con (like what Chicon 7 is doing) than try to work against them, which benefits everyone across the board.  

Now having said that, we’re also realists.  We do want people to come to Worldcon, and Disney is fully aware of Dragon*Con.  Disney has said they would like us (the bid committee) to “use the Disney name” to help get people to Orlando for Worldcon while also providing incentives for people to come to Worldcon rather than Dragon*Con, and a lot of what we’re talking about is really still under negotiation.  But two things that we are talking about that may give people an idea of what kinds of incentives to expect are free wireless internet for Worldcon attendees (both in the function space and in their hotel rooms), and “after 4 p.m.” theme park tickets for Worldcon attendees on Sunday to allow our attendees to have the option of visiting the theme parks after Worldcon is over.  

You had also asked about our committee.  Currently we have myself, Steve Davidson, Eva Whitley, Mary Dumas, Gary Farber, Jarrod Cooper, Adam Ferraro, Colette Fozard, and Pam Larson.  We also are fortunate enough to have Frank Wu as our official artist.  

Spokane, Washington: The bid is being run by Alex von Thorn. Bobbie DuFault and Sally Woehrle are the prospective Worldcon co-chairs if they win.

They propose to use the Spokane Convention Center which offers over 320,000 sq. ft. meeting space. The facility provides 23 meeting/breakout rooms, a 25,310 sq. ft. ballroom and a junior ballroom that is 13,730 sq. ft. A long list of hotels are engaged, the largest being the Doubletree, Red Lion at the Park and the Red Lion River Inn.

The bid invites presupports ($20) and “Friend of the Bid” memberships ($120), which can be paid for online at the bid website.

The announced committee is: John Ammon, David-Glenn Anderson, Patricia Briggs, Carolyn Cherryh, Bobbie DuFault (Convention Co-Chair), Jane Fancher, Bruce Farr, kT Fitzsimmons, Jerry Gieseke, Char Mac Kay, Randy Mac Kay, Tim Martin, Michael Nelson, Carole Parker, Pat Porter, Gerald Power, Rhiannon Power, Sharon Reynolds, Susan Robinson, Marah Searle-Kovacevic (Bid Vice-Chair), Chris Snell, Danielle Stephens, Bill Thomasson, Ann Totusek, Tom Veal, Alex von Thorn (Bid Chair), Tracy Williams, Mike Willmoth (Hotel Negotiation), Sally Woehrle (Convention Co-Chair), Drew Wolfe, Kate Mulligan Wolfe, Chris Zach.

2016: Kansas City

Co-Chairs: Team LOL – Diane Lacey, Jeff Orth, Ruth Lichtwardt; Committee: Margene Bahm, Warren Buff, Aurora Celeste, Sydnie Krause, Parris McBride, Tim Miller, Jim Murray, Paula Murray, Mark Olson, Priscilla Olson, Joel Phillips, John Platt, Susan Satterfield, Keith Stokes, Rene Walling.

They have signed contract with the rights of first refusal with their proposed facilities, Bartle Hall and the Kansas City Convention Center. They expect to have close to 80% of the downtown hotel rooms and 60% of the Convention Hall space.

2017: Nippon, and New York. (Neither represented at Reno.)

Kevin Standlee says Mike “Mr. Shirt” McConnell is still planning to bid for New York in 2017.  According to Petrea Mitchell, the New York bid won’t start active campaigning until 2013.

2018: New Orleans

Ray Boudreau spoke for New Orleans, calling it a “pre-bid” although it did have a party at Renovation.

Committee member Jessica Styons told File 770 a few months ago, “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, also is working on the bid.  

2020: New Zealand.

The New Zealand bid is led by Norman Cates, a past DUFF delegate.

There’s an open question where a New Zealand Worldcon would be held:

“We have briefly investigated convention facilities in New Zealand. A World Con in New Zealand is expected to draw 1500 to 2500 (tops) people.  There are two in Auckland and one in Wellington that could support a World Con of this size.”

Update 10/30/2011: Corrected my New Zealand geography gaffe, per comment.

8 thoughts on “Future Worldcon Bids

  1. Thanks for the roundup.

    For what it’s worth, Auckland and Wellington are both on the North Island.

  2. Thanks for saving me. (Can my memory get any more pathetic — I’ve actually been to both cities.)

  3. Mr Shirt, aka Michael McConnell, lives in Philadelphia and is running Lunacon in alternate years with his wife (or maybe girlfriend). His sole purpose in running a NY bid—which does not have my support—is to derail another Japanese bid.

    If you want any other opinions of him, I suggest you contact members of the Philadelphia SF Society.

  4. I think Mr. Shirt is serious about New York on its own merits. 2017 would be 50 years since the last NYcon, so it does have that going for it. Of course, it’s also NYC, which isn’t exactly the most appealing location. He’s convinced it’s workable — I’ll believe it when I see it.

    While I’d love to visit Japan (having gotten sold on the idea of Worldcon just a little too late to make Nippon 2007), I also think they should face serious competition this time around rather than a simple spoiler. I’m not sure that Mr. Shirt’s NYC bid counts for that — I’ll have to see what he puts together.

    In any case, unless something emerges for 2019, the 2011-2020 period looks to have a realistic shot at no more than three non-US Worldcons, which doesn’t strike me as too high. Only one of those is non-Anglophone. Comparing that to 2001-2010, I see that there were five non-US Worldcons, two of them non-Anglophone. I think I’d be most comfortable with four non-US, two non-Anglophone, though higher numbers of overseas bids would definitely make it feel more like a *world* convention.

  5. “Of course, it’s also NYC, which isn’t exactly the most appealing location.”

    Well, it’s NYC … you either like it, or not. I do. A city of 24/7 distractions.

    “When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough.” — Fran Lebowitz

  6. McConnel was astonished at the last Lunacon by my would-be presence on a panel about the NY worldcon bid. Although he knew Ted White (but perhaps not Dave Van Arnam) was a co-chair of NYCon 3, he didn’t know I was on the committee as well. After a confrontation before the panel started where he was rather nasty to me, I left the panel. However, Ben Yalow was in the audience, taking notes. I don’t know if McConnell knows anything about him.

    The real trouble with NYC for a worldcon is that because the city is always crowded with tourists, any NYC bid would have to charge more than $300 a night for a hotel with suitable facilities.

  7. Right now, New York is a perfectly feasible site. There are three hotels large enough to hold the convention in its entirety; the largest of these has rack rates of $280 for next Labor Day weekend. By comparison the rack rates at the Sheraton Boston for the same dates are $245, and N4 was quite able to negotiate a perfectly reasonable hotel room rate. I have not spoken to anyone from that particular hotel but I have spoken with other large New York hotels trying to get my interest for other conventions and I can report that they are hungry and that the nearly-50% discounts from rack that the SF community is used to are entirely possible there *if we book soon*.

    Among the problems I have with the NY bid, though, is that the conditions I describe may well no longer exist in 2015 when the vote would take place.

  8. … and if you’re complaining about NY being too expensive, note that the Yokohama Grand’s rack rates for this coming Labor Day weekend are Y 56,000.00 which is well over $700 US.

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