The inaugural GenCon SoCal, which was held at the Anaheim Convention Center for Dec. 11-14, attracted some 4,725 fans of gaming, fantasy, and science fiction. Although attendance was light on Thursday it picked up over the weekend and the final tally makes GenCon SoCal the third largest gaming convention in the U.S., trailing only Gen Con Indy and Origins. In a report posted on GamingReport.com, Gen Con CEO Peter Adkison expressed satisfaction with the show, though he did allow that the hall was too spacious for the size of the crowds, and that a number of exhibitors incurred extra expenses due to strict union work rules. Still attendance came in 18% above projections, participation at gaming events was strong, and GenCon SoCal's promoters are eager to make the second GenCon SoCal, which is set for Dec. 2004, an even bigger event.
The show even provided some unintended drama as Upper Deck's Fraud Investigation Team, working in conjunction with the Anaheim Police Department and show promoters, busted an Internet retailer/exhibitor for selling counterfeit Chinese Yu-Gi-Oh! cards (see 'Upper Deck Busts Counterfeiters at GenCon SoCal').