By Lana Harrison | Downtown Partnership News
Whether Comic-Con was your long-awaited opportunity to don a grownup Wonder Woman costume, or your excuse to avoid the crowds and watch your favorite “Star Wars” episode on Netflix, the annual event took the city by storm – as usual.
Each day, nearly 135,000 attendees descended on the southern part of Downtown and the Convention Center for glimpses of their favorite characters, exclusive insider looks at the creation of shows, free one-of-a-kind interactive experiences, and the opportunity to be someone else – even if just for the weekend.
While the city was transformed into a sort of theme park during the day, it also underwent a transition at night.
Charged with the mission of keeping Downtown San Diego’s streets tidy and secure, our Clean & Safe maintenance and security ambassadors worked tirelessly around the clock to make Downtown an enjoyable place for excited visitors and residents participating in the event. You might have seen them in their yellow vests and blue shirts – some even wore capes and superhero masks.
One of these local heroes was Ron Montez, a Clean & Safe maintenance ambassador, who has worked with the program for two years. This was Ron’s second year working as an ambassador at Comic-Con.
“Before I moved here, I only knew three things about San Diego: the beautiful weather, SeaWorld, and Comic-Con, so it was pretty special to be a part of this event,” Ron said.
Ron was just one among a committed team of ambassadors who, together:
- Collected 45,516 flyers, posters, and stickers.
- Pulled 3,862 bags of trash (equal to 33 tons of garbage).
- Cleaned graffiti 269 times.
- Gave directional assistance to 832 people.
- The numbers don’t lie – these team members were the true heroes of the event.
“For a lot of people, this might be the only time they see San Diego,” Ron said. “On behalf of the city, we want to make sure it looks great and creates a positive impression of San Diego as an area visitors would want to come back to.”
This impression doesn’t have to end now that the building banners and installations of Comic-Con have packed up until next year.
Balboa Park will soon be the proud home to the Comic-Con Museum – the next iteration of the brand – which will celebrate the history of Comic-Con as well as serve as a place fans can celebrate the best of pop-culture year-round.
The organization has tapped Adam Smith (not to be confused with the economist) to head up this effort. An avid history buff who hails from Great Britain, Smith has experience leading a number of museums in the past.
“As a five-day annual event, Comic-Con has made a very significant positive contribution to the economy, image and culture of San Diego,” said Smith, executive director of the museum. “The Comic-Con Museum will extend these benefits all year round and will strengthen San Diego’s reputation as the world’s epicenter of pop culture.”
Until the museum opens, you can still catch our heroes around town.
Take a moment to say hello and thank them for the work they do to keep Downtown San Diego clean and safe!
— Lana Harrison is the communications coordinator for the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.