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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Sean Kelly

Fan Expo Canada Expands in 2013…with some controversy

fanexposportsA big announcement was made today in regards to the 2013 edition of Fan Expo Canada and the geeks aren’t that happy about it.  In addition to the traditional categories of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming, Fan Expo has added a new sports show to the convention.  A number of sports celebrities have been announced to make an appearance.  This includes hockey legends Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr, football star Joe Montana, and professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan.

Let me just say that the response has not been kind.  The announcement on Facebook was bombarded with hundreds of angry comments, with fans complaining that the sports show will attract jocks that may harass the geeks, who call Fan Expo their home.  It’s true that jocks beating up geeks has always been the ultimate stereotype and it’s definitely a bit odd that Fan Expo would decide to expand in this manner.

However, this leads into the second major announcement, which made it official that Fan Expo Canada will be occupying BOTH the North and South buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  In addition to Fan Expo’s main floor in the South building, there will be three extra exhibition halls set-up in the North building.  Two will be reserved for more of the geek content Fan Expo is known for, while one will be reserved exclusively for the aforementioned sports show.  Apparently, there will also be the option to purchase tickets for the sports show separately from the main convention.

So, what do I think of all of this?  Well, I probably couldn’t care less for the sports show.  That said, I am a lifelong fan of the Toronto Blue Jays and, if they brought in any players from the World Series Winning teams from 1992 and 1993, I would definitely be interested.  Same goes for any famous soccer players and über sports celebs, like Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan.  Other than that, I am most definitely not a jock.

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However, I am a huge professional wrestling fan and I am quite excited by the fact that Hulk Hogan is coming to Fan Expo.  Also, professional wrestlers are no stranger to Fan Expo and have frequently made appearances, despite not being on the official roster of guests.  In the 4 years I’ve been going to Fan Expo, there have been appearances by the likes of the Iron Sheik, Honky Tonk Man, Trish Stratus, and Booker T.  Also, the competing Wizard World ComicCon made it a regular habit to book wrestlers.  As such, if there is one thing I am happy about Fan Expo Sports, it is that it gives an official venue for these sports entertainment superstars.

I also think that expanding to the entire Convention Centre is a great idea, which is actually a bit necessary, considering how much Fan Expo has grown.  The only major issue I have involves Fan Expo’s longstanding issue with crowd control.  I’m fairly sure the expanded Fan Expo will utilize the North Building exhibition hall, which is only accessible by escalator.  I still have nightmares about the large bottleneck of people trying to go up the escalator at Fan Expo 2010.  There’s also a possible bottleneck along the passage between the North and South buildings.  Hopefully, this expanded Fan Expo will be well planned out and there will be not too many crowd issues.  I also hope that there will be enough in a single area, so I wouldn’t have to frequently move between buildings.

Either way, it will definitely be an interesting (and possibly record breaking) weekend this summer.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).