1. Life & Culture
  2. /
  3. Entertainment

Tampa Bay Comic Con is canceled this year

The rising number of COVID-19 cases makes the convention too risky, organizers said. They hope to return in 2021.

TAMPA — There will be no Tampa Bay Comic Convention this year.

The organizers announced Wednesday on Facebook that the annual convention celebrating all of nerdom will not be held as scheduled July 10-12 at the Tampa Convention Center because of the pandemic.

The decision was made due to the rising number of confirmed coronavirus infections and after consulting with city officials, the organizers said.

“Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the City of Tampa does not feel comfortable featuring Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2020 (and we share their sentiment),” the organizers wrote. ”For that reason, Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2020 has been canceled.”

Related: Florida adds 5,511 coronavirus cases as weekly death average ticks upward

The next convention is set to be held in 2021 from July 30 to Aug. 1.

At its peak in 2019, the convention drew nearly 30,000 people to buy, sell and celebrate the vast and expensive world of nerdy interests that has grown far beyond comic book superheroes.

The celebrities who were to attend in 2020 included Avengers franchise star Paul Bettany, Harry Potter franchise star Tom Felton and professional wrestler Kevin Nash.

Those who pre-ordered tickets and already booked tables and space on the convention floor will have their payments transferred to 2021, the organizers said.

The Facebook post does not say if refunds will be offered, but did say that those funds are “all there is keeping TBCC alive for the next 12 months; without them, there would be no TBCC 2021 (or beyond).”

In May, organizers had announced plans to hold a scaled-back version of the annual convention this summer that would limit attendance and institute temperature screenings, cleaning measures and hand sanitizing stations.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

THE CORONAVIRUS SCRAPBOOK: We collected your stories, pictures, songs, recipes, journals and more to show what life has been like during the pandemic.

SO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE? Read these 10 tips first

UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.