What a Future DC Worldcon Needs

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.

Two Worldcons have been held in Washington DC (1963, 1974). Two more bid committees tried to bring the convention back. An out-of-rotation bid for 1984 depended on a rules change that failed to pass. A bid for 1992 was forced to fold a few months before the vote after losing its first option on the Sheraton Washington.

In 2004 Michael Nelson publicly discussed the possibility of a DC bid for 2011, if the convention center hotel was built in time. Of course, it was not.

But remember – when it rains, it pours. The Washington Post ran an article last September reporting that developers would like to build two more Marriotts beside the one already going up by the convention center. However, the city has balked on giving them $35 million in subsidies they want for the project.

Yes, September. If this is not the freshest news, never forget File 770’s motto – “It’s always news to somebody.”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]

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6 thoughts on “What a Future DC Worldcon Needs

  1. I’d love to see a DC Worldcon in a presidential election year– it’s the one place guaranteed to not run into any conflicts with a major-party nominating convention.

  2. To avoid the political conventions in an election year, there’s always the option of holding the Worldcon outside the U.S. — although that hasn’t actually been done in an election year since the 1948 Worldcon in Toronto.

    The Worldcon has been held in the same city and year as a major party nominating convention six times before, albeit never at the same time, nor at a different time in the same facility: 1940 Chicago (Democrats); 1952 Chicago (both Democrats and Republicans); 1976 Kansas City (Republicans); 1988 New Orleans (Republicans); 2004 Boston (Democrats); and 2008 Denver (Democrats).

    I should note that the recent trend has been to hold the conventions much closer to Labor Day than they used to be held, which makes them more likely to conflict with Worldcon. This year’s Republican convention is August 27 to 30, Worldcon is August 30 to September 3, and the Democratic convention is September 3 to 6, albeit all in different cities hundreds of miles away from each other.

  3. An important component missing from a DC Worldcon bid would be local fans willing to bid and run a Worldcon. I’m a member of WSFA, and I just don’t see any enthusiasm at that prospect. The same lack of interest applies 35 miles up the road in Baltimore, too, although at the rate Alex Harris is going, we may see him chairing Constellation 2 within the decade.

  4. @Eva: Maybe it’s time for us to ask Mickey Mouse if the secret of multiplying water-carrying broomsticks can be tweaked to produce conrunners.

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