Emerald City Comic Con postponed over coronavirus concerns

SEATTLE -- Emerald City Comic Con, which was expected to bring upwards of 100,000 people to the Convention Center in downtown Seattle next weekend, has been postponed over novel coronavirus fears.

The event, one of the largest pop culture and comic events in the country, was slated to take place March 12-15. Organizers said the event will happen sometime this summer.

"We did everything that we could to run the event as planned, but ultimately, we are following the guidance of the local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed," organizers said.

Over the past week as coronavirus cases increase and more deaths are reported in western Washington, public health officials have encouraged social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of the virus, including telecommuting and avoiding large gatherings of people in public.

Organizers initially had offered refunds to people who had already purchased tickets instead of canceling. But according to The Seattle Times, about 10,000 of the 75,000 tickets sold had requested refunds within 24 hours.

"Our hearts go out to the entire Seattle community, everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and all of you, the nearly 100,000 amazing human beings who look forward to this event each year," organizers said.

Headliners for this year's event included actors Mark Ruffalo and Michael J. Fox. The Times reports that 85 vendors had already pulled out of Comic Con before it was postponed.

People who already purchased tickets will be refunded automatically within 30 days. You don't need to take any action to receive a refund.

President Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow is urging people to avoid travel to the Seattle area until further notice.