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For Immediate Release:
August 14, 2013

Otakon Selects Washington, DC as Future Site of Five Consecutive Conventions

Leading American Exposition of Asian Pop Culture Enthusiasts to Meet in Nation’s Capital, 2017-2021

(Washington, DC) – Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for the nation’s capital, announces the selection of Washington, DC as a five-year host of Otakon, the leading national convention for anime, live action role-playing events, manga, video games and Asian pop culture enthusiasts. More than 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the three-day conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC in 2017-2021. The convention is expected to generate $25 million in annual revenue for the District.

“Otakon will bring thousands of devotees of Japanese pop culture to Washington, DC during the month of August when more convention business is needed. Bringing Otakon to the District shows the focus of our convention sales team to strategically book conventions throughout the year,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC. “Attendees will benefit from the exceptional value that Washington, DC offers summertime consumers, with 30-plus free museums and other major attractions.”

Otakon attracts devotees of anime, live-action role playing games, manga and video games for an action-packed long weekend. Attendees experience meet-and-greets with leading film and video game directors, international animators and voice actors. The conference boasts a niche marketplace for collectors and artists, an eye-popping creative costume contest as well as pop concerts, a street fair and media premieres. Participants in the world’s largest live action role-playing (LARP) game, an Otakon tradition, should delight in the convention center’s 703,000-square feet of exhibition space. Otakon is contracted to take place on a three-day weekend at either the end of July or early August, traditional need periods for the city. Organizers expect attendees to stay more than two nights and explore the city’s exciting neighborhoods.

“This is a great win for Washington, DC and a prime example of how the entire hospitality community worked together to secure a premier customer and tap into a new audience for our great city,” explained Gregory A. O’Dell, president and CEO of Events DC.  “As the official convention and sports authority for the District, we look forward to providing superior customer service and a world-class facility, while also encouraging Otakon conventioneers to get out and explore the city during their stay.” 

Washington, DC was selected over Baltimore, MD, site of Otakon’s annual convention since 1999. An established cultural phenomenon, Otakon marked its 20th anniversary in Baltimore, Aug. 9-11, 2013.

About Destination DC
Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 850 businesses committed to marketing the District as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. Visit Washington.org for more information. 

About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, deliver premier event services and flexible venues across the nation's capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District's hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and Maloof Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Events DC also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. For more information, please visit EventsDC.com.