Seattle-based Gen Con is reaching out to the Indianapolis business community one day after announcing plans to cancel its 2020 event. President David Hoppe says the move was a difficult decision but thanks the community and business leaders “for their flexibility and patience during these very turbulent times for our industry.”
Last year, Gen Con drew 70,000 attendees to downtown Indianapolis for the annual four-day gaming convention. Visit Indy says the event generated an estimated $70 million in economic impact for the city, making it both one of the largest and most lucrative annual events in Indiana.
Additionally, Gen Con announced it has extended its contract with the city for two more years, keeping the event in Indy through 2026.
You can read the full letter below:
To our friends in the Indy business community,
Earlier this week, we were forced to make the difficult decision to cancel Gen Con 2020 due to COVID-19. We know this pandemic has had many serious consequences, for public health, for people’s jobs, and most importantly the health and safety of friends, family, and loved ones. In the face of these life-changing impacts something like a gaming convention can seem insignificant, and in many ways it is. Yet it is also in times like these that we look for the familiar; the traditions, the passions, and the company of friends to give us the chance to escape the day-to-day, even if just for a few hours or a few days. In this way Gen Con is important, and for the first time in 52 years we’re going to miss it. We’re heartbroken.
We’re especially sad that we won’t be able to bring our special brand of joy to our favorite city this summer. Indy has been home to Gen Con for the last 15 years and, frankly, we love it here. Each year we are greeted by the great food, the hotels who accommodate our special needs, the vibrant downtown, and the warm hospitality of Hoosiers that has allowed us to make our short time in the Circle City truly special. This summer is just not going to be the same without you!
As the guy in charge of the business of Gen Con, I especially want to thank local community and business leaders for their flexibility and patience during these very turbulent times for our industry. I truly appreciate that everyone in Indy shares our vision of a long-term presence for Gen Con and the challenges this year presents. While there’s nothing we can do to replace the loss of Gen Con in 2020, we plan to come back as soon as it is safe to do so and reaffirm Indy as our favorite summertime home away from home. As such we’ve made the decision to extend our commitment to hold Gen Con in Indy through 2026. When we return – hopefully in 2021 – we’ll return to the old traditions at our favorite haunts and build fun new traditions in new spaces and places that are sure to arise. Because of the great hospitality of you, our host city, these traditions will be filled with friends, good times, and lots and lots of gaming – for many years to come.
I speak for the entire gaming community when I say we just can’t wait.
Team Gen Con