Rumors abound that GenCon is looking to host a second convention, and that they are looking at Southern cities as a possibility. Since this blog is all about Board Gaming in the South, I thought I would investigate.
There is precedent for multiple conventions spread out across the country. According to its wiki page, back in the 1980s, when GenCon’s regular attendance in Wisconsin hovered around 5000, the convention hosted three different events: (1) University of Wisconsin-Parkside; (2) GenCon South in Jacksonville; and (3) GenCon East in Cherry Hills, New Jersey.
This was not the only time GenCon spread itself around. In fact, there were multiple years where there were multiple conventions. In 2004, there were GenCons in the UK, California, Indianapolis, and even Barcelona!
But it has been a long time since Indy took over GenCon as the sole host. A post on BGG suggested that the GenCon owners are in the process of evaluating whether a second GenCon is feasible. With the convention busting its seams every year, and overall fever for board game conventions at an all time high, this is probably an opportune time for GenCon to expand.
Where to go? If I were GenCon, I would put New Orleans on my short list! The Crescent City has a world class convention center right on the river. The Ernest Morial Convention Center boasts over 1.1 million feet of exhibit space, and over 3 million total space! That’s a lot of room to spread out the bits and boards in Argent: The Consortium!
And according to the New Orleans convention bureau, the city has over 35,000 hotel rooms available for convention season. That’s plenty of room for a second convention.
Weather in May, say near Memorial Day weekend, is just gorgeous down in New Orleans. You will have temperatures in the 80s during the day, and strolling the streets at night would be a breeze. Plus at the end of the month is the amazing New Orleans Wine & Experience, so you and your friends / significant others can take a break from the convention…if you really want to.
Here are my top three reasons why GenCon should consider The Big Easy:
1. The convention center has a 4000 seat auditorium, so the Dice Tower Live broadcast would definitely not run out of tickets even if they booked Rich Sommers and Will Wheaton as guest speakers;
2.The debate over who has the best food, Origins or GenCon, would end:
(Photos of crawfish etoufee and shrimp gumbo courtesy of http://www.PDPhoto.org.) (Shrimp Po Boy from Crabby Jack’s Restaurant photo Courtesy of Jason Perlow (email@example.com)
(Fully dressed roast beef poboys photo By David Reber from Kansas City, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)
3. Who wants to ride a bus or taxiwhen you can take a street car from your hotel?
By Bob Jagendorf (BobJagendorf@Yahoo.Com – http://Jagendorf.Com/) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
(By the way, the featured photo New Orleans at the top is also courtesy of PDPhoto.org.)
I’ll be adding to this post as I think of more reasons. Until next time, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!