Gen Con is contracted to Indianapolis through 2020, but has begun discussions about whether to remain in Indianapolis or move the show after that time in the wake of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s signing of SB101, which allows discrimination against gay people on religious grounds. The information was revealed in a new statement released by Gen Con CEO Adrian Swartout Thursday afternoon.
"Planning and bidding for our convention is a long-term process that begins five years prior to contract-term commencement," Swartout wrote. "Discussions, whether to remain in Indy or move elsewhere, have begun."
After both houses of the Indiana state legislature passed SB101, Gen Con released a statement earlier this week urging Pence to veto the bill, and threatening to move the show if the bill became law (see "Gen Con Threatens to Leave Indianapolis"). GAMA, the Gama Manufacturer’s Association, released a statement today supporting the Gen Con position (see "GAMA Supports Gen Con’s Position on Indiana Bill SB101").
Swartout noted that Indianapolis officials and businesspeople expressed opposition to the bill, and that she expects that Gen Con will receive "an even warmer response from the city" for the remainder of its contract.
In addition to beginning discussions about what to do at the end of its contract with Indianapolis, Gen Con took two other steps related to the passage of the new law. First, the organizers acknowledged that some of its attendees may no longer want to travel to Indiana. "Prospective attendees, if you don’t feel comfortable attending, based upon your principles, we invite you to make the decision that feels right for you, your business, or group. We support your decision, regardless of the outcome."
And second, Gen Con asked for feedback from its attendees about local hospitality during this year’s show.
The statement concluded with a positive call to action. "Let’s continue to show off how open-hearted, fun, and inclusive our event and the Indy community can be," it said.