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Comic-Con Museum, Center for Popular Culture

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Look at this exciting announcement from San Diego Hall of Champions More information to follow soon! #SDCC

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--- Quote ---SAN DIEGO (March 16, 2017) — The Breitbard Hall of Fame, which was founded by the legendary Bob Breitbard to recognize significant athletic achievement in San Diego, will be relocating from Balboa Park to Petco Park. The San Diego Hall of Champions will continue to host its numerous awards, recognition & community programs in a seamless transition for San Diegans to enjoy for years to come.
 
Taking the Hall of Champions’ place at the Federal Building in Balboa Park will be Comic-Con International which plans to use the facility as the Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture. “Even as we prepare for our sister show WonderCon in Anaheim this month, we are excited to be part of this announcement. The Hall of Champions has our deepest appreciation in helping us to achieve this new chapter in Comic-Con history. This center will provide a year round interactive celebration of the innumerable aspects of popular art,” said a Comic-Con spokesperson.
 
“My father would be thrilled with this opportunity to move the Breitbard Hall of Fame to Petco Park to usher in the next phase of the Hall of Champions,” said Gayle Klusky, Bob’s daughter and Hall board member. “Dad set out to better San Diego and inspire San Diegans to reach their potential, and this new model will only allow us to more effectively fulfill and advance our mission and perpetuate his legacy.”
 
Many of the historical items in the museum, including “Bob’s office,” which included amazing sports pieces, will be housed at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.
 
The Breitbard Hall of Fame, consisting of 153 inductee plaques, will be located in the Western Metal Supply Co. Building on the main concourse at Petco Park. This space is a high-traffic passageway for thousands of fans each game, connecting the seating bowl and the Padres Hall of Fame presented by Sony. Construction is expected to be completed during the 2017 Padres season. A conceptual rendering by Morgan Design is attached.
 
“Bob Breitbard was one of San Diego’s greatest sports leaders,” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Hall of Champions. “The San Diego Hall of Champions is an important community asset and this move positions the organization for a bright, sustainable future. The Padres are glad to welcome the Breitbard Hall of Fame to Petco Park.”
 
The Hall’s Salute to the Champions, Sportsmen’s Banquet, awards programs & events, and engagement with numerous community organizations will continue. Additionally, the Hall has released a new app which chronicles the thousands of awards the organization has bestowed over the years to effectively recognize its honorees in a more modern, virtual, and interactive manner.
 
For further information on the Hall of Champions, please contact Rick Schloss at 619 708-6007 or via email at [email protected]
 
 
ABOUT THE HALL OF CHAMPIONS
The Hall is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating outstanding local athletic achievement and providing sports programming to the community. The Hall was launched by the Breitbard Athletic Foundation, which was founded in 1946 by the legendary Bob Breitbard to recognize significant athletic achievement in San Diego. Through its awards and recognition programs and vigilant focus on the community of San Diego and its betterment, the Hall is devoted to motivating and inspiring youth of all ages to reach their full potential. For more information, please visit You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

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--- Quote ---San Diego Comic-Con International will open a museum of popular culture in Balboa Park under an agreement announced Thursday by the San Diego Hall of Champions and its Breitbard Hall of Fame.

“The Hall of Champions has our deepest appreciation in helping us to achieve the new chapter in Comic-Con history,” a Comic-Con spokesman said. “This center will provide a year-round interactive celebration of the innumerable aspects of popular art.”

The Comic-Con Center for Popular Culture (CCC) would likely open no earlier than sometime in 2018, since the sports museum has nine months to vacate its building. According to the lease agreement with the nonprofit San Diego Comic Convention, the new museum “will be a place to learn about and interact with comics and related popular art forms on a year-round basis.” “CCC will not be a collection institution,” the agreement says. “Exhibits will pull from collectors, museums, galleries and other sources, and will refresh on a regular basis to provide a dynamic visitor experience.” The agreement was signed by Cybele Thompson, director of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department, and John Rogers, president of Comic-Con. The city charges no rent for use of the building, which was originally built as the Federal Building for the California Pacific International Exposition 1935-36 and rebuilt for the Hall of Champions in 1999.

The sports museum’s hall of fame, which commemorates decades of local sports heroes, is to move to Petco Park’s Western Metal Building and many of the historical items in the Hall of Champions and be housed at the San Diego History Center in the park. The sports museum renovated that then occupied the park’s former Federal Building that was built for the California-Pacific International Exposition of 1935-36. “Bob Breitbard was one of San Diego’s greatest sports leaders,” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, who also chairs the Hall of Champions board. “The San Diego Hall of Champions is an important community asset and this move positions the organization for a bright, sustainable future. The Padres are glad to welcome the Breitbard Hall of Fame of Petco Park.”Dan Shea, a Hall of Champions board member, said the museum will close down in several months and items on loan, such as from the Padres and Chargers, will be returned to their owners.

Others items and archives not turned over to the history center, located in the Casa de Baloba, will be auctioned off. The museum has nine months to vacate the building. The official transfer authority to Comic-Con took place Thursday after months of negotiations with the city. Bill Lawrence, the history center’s executive director, said he is working with the Hall of Champions to identify objects and artifacts that could become part of the center’s permanent exhibition on San Diego’s history. “The sports aspects of our region are very, very important in that story,” Lawrence said. The closing down of the museum and transfer to Comic-Con is not surprising. Such a possibility was announced last year.

Shea said the sports museum with a skeletal staff of about six could not carry on, even with income from renting out the facility for special events. “It’s the changing world of museums and how people use them,” Shea said. “It just got to the point where long-term it was understood it was not going to drive the (visitor) traffic that would make it sustainable.” The most recent tax return in 2015 from the Hall of Champions indicated expenses of more than $1.5 million and and income of $986,810, leaving a deficit of $562,271. Admissions totaled only $48,509. Attendance totaled about 16,000 last year. The museum currently lists nine exhibition areas in the two-story facility. Besides major league baseball and the NFL, they cover sailing, surfing, high school and Sports Illustrated covers of San Diego athletes.

Shea said the Breitbard Hall of Fame, consisting of 153 plaques of San Diego sports legends will be relocated, possibly as early this summer, to the Western Metals Building that occupies the western edge of Petco Park. The annual awards program and youth and military family activities will continue. “The only change is the museum is going away,” said Drew Moser, the executive director, adding that staffing will continue for the hall of fame. Comic-Con has not released any details of what it has in mind beyond was laid out in the lease agreement and a spokesman could not immediately reached for comment.

Jackie Estrada, who runs the con’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards program, said the museum would be a “natural thing” for Comic-Con to take on. “I’m more interested in things related to the actual comics and not films and TV and costumes and things of that nature,” she said. Similar things were displayed at the Central Library two years ago during the con and programming has continued at the library every year. Estrada said Comic-Con, based in San Diego, maintains archives related to the artwork and various publications and publicity it produces for each year’s convention. “Whatever it is, it will just be a treat for whoever comes to Balboa Park,” Estrada said.

However the museum is built out, the announcement clearly indicates that the nonprofit is committing to a long-term presence in San Diego. The con’s current contract with the San Diego Convention expires after next year’s event and the San Diego Tourism Authority is negotiating to renew it for another three years. The con annually draws more than 130,000 attendees, the largest of any convention in San Diego, and has spread its meetings and activities beyond the walls of the convention center in recent years. Comic-Con has endorsed expansion of the convention center and also been wooed by other cities, without success, to relocate elsewhere. Kerri Kapich, chief operating officer of the tourism authority, said the move of the Hall of Fame to Petco and the new Comic-Con museum represent a “real win-win for sports and popular culture.” However, she said Comic-Con has not shared any details beyond its general endorsement of permanent home open to the public. “We always thought it would be a really cool idea,” Kapich said. “They certainly have quite some time to create something that will be incredible and unique. Nobody has anything like this. I’m really excited.”

Coincidentally, filmmaker George Lucas announced plans in January to build a similar popular culture museum, the billion-dollar Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, in Los Angeles. Its founding president is Don Bacigalupi, former executive director of the San Diego Museum of Art. Its collection is drawn from Lucas’ fine art holdings, props, drawings and artifacts from “Star Wars,” Indiana Jones and other movies he’s produced and digital media. It is scheduled to open in 2020 in Exposition Park. “When you start to let your imagination go a little bit, you could see how it could be truly tremendous,” Kapich said. “It’s great for Southern California, it’s fantastic for San Diego and I think good for both sports and fans of pop culture. Peter Comiskey, executive director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, said the new museum will give tourists, as well as local residents, an additional reason to visit what many consider San Diego’s cultural “crown jewel” with its many museums, gardens and theaters, not to mention the San Diego Zoo. “I know they will create something for the park that is interesting, engaging and relevant both to our tourist base and residents,” Comiskey said. “They’re a very creative organization and have a fantastic opportunity to use that creatively and positively impact Balboa Park.”

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Angel_:
Whoa. Year round SDCC goodness. Wonder how quality the exhibit will be? I've wandered around Balboa Park and the exhibits have been hit or miss.

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Cut That Meat:
Is it naive for me to think this announcement can only be a good thing as far as the Con staying in San Diego past 2018 (or 2021 if those extension talks go well)?

Angology:
You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginIs it naive for me to think this announcement can only be a good thing as far as the Con staying in San Diego past 2018 (or 2021 if those extension talks go well)?

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I was thinking the same thing myself.

AzT:
Relocation of a rich history underway: 

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--- Quote ---To fully comprehend how much sports history and memorabilia filled the colorful corners of Bob Breitbard’s remarkable life, you could peek in many places. Including his underwear drawer. That’s where the family of the late owner of the NBA’s San Diego Rockets - who introduced hockey to a beach-side community, built a sports arena and provided the sweat and soul behind the Hall of Champions - found a doozy. “You know those cards baseball players get, those lifetime passes to get into ballparks?” said Jerry Klusky, Breitbard’s son in law. “There was the card for Ted Williams, right in the drawer.”

Klusky and his wife, Gayle, one of Bob’s two daughters, laughed and fought a tear or two this week in Breitbard’s former office at the hall in Balboa Park. It’s a conflicting, reflective time for the family of one of San Diego’s most influential visionaries. The museum is being disassembled, piece by history-soaked piece, because of the financial realities of an era and place with nearly limitless things tugging at discretionary dollars. The utility bill alone, Jerry said, hit $15,000 a month. That’s before paying employees and the other costs to lovingly display the singular sports story of a special place.

Smiles outnumber sorrow, however, because of memories revisited and the assurance of the hall’s future home in Petco Park. “(My dad) would have told you about every single thing in this room,” said Gayle, scanning the office where Bob chatted with luminaries ranging from John Wooden and Hank Aaron to late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “It all had meaning to him.”

Now, signed portraits from the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali and Larry Bird lean against blank walls - surrounded by boxes and packing tape. The splashy new digs at Petco await the Hall of Fame plaques. Some items will go to the nearby San Diego History Center. The rest is either being returned to owners such as Bill Walton, Tony Hawk and San Diego Chicken creator Ted Giannoulas or prepped for auction to boost the family’s charitable foundation.

The torch might seem momentarily dimmed, but will continue to burn. At 68,000 square feet, the Federal Building houses the largest multi-sport museum in the nation. In the end, it’s simply a place. Breitbard’s legacy is more than brick and mortar and the confines of a sole building. The man’s passions, from celebrating San Diego’s athletic history to benefitting at-risk children through the foundation, live on. “People say, ‘How come the hall is closing?’ Well, technically it’s the building that’s closing,” Jerry said. “Everything the hall was known for, all the plaques, they’re moving to Petco Park. More people will see that on a single game than see it here all year long.”

The number of visitors touring the hall had dwindled to an estimated 16,000, far below the goals when it was dedicated in January 1961 as Grand Slam tennis champion Maureen Connolly and boxing great Archie Moore beamed. Times change. It happens. There’s a stinging sadness to a chapter closing, however. “(Bob) would have been upset,” Jerry said. “This was his baby.”

Gayle added: “It would have been difficult for him, but it also wasn’t sustainable. It’s very difficult to have a museum.” The family decided to sell a prized bat Williams gave to Breitbard. Rather than allow the keepsake to simply sit around, they reasoned that the $60,000 could be used by the foundation to benefit the kids Bob treasured. One of the slices of history the family plans to retain is a guestbook, jammed with page after page of famous visits. Scanning the signatures offers a unique glimpse into Breitbard’s reach and relationships.

There’s former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth. There’s Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner of the Lakers. Legendary golfer Billy Casper. Gymnastics star Cathy Rigby. Sparky Anderson and Tommy Lasorda. Pete Rose. Duke Snider. Garvey and Garagiola. There’s been so much to sort through that a random box with an autographed football and basketball added mystery to the memories. “Whose names are these?” said Jerry, holding up the balls. “No idea.”

Breitbard relentlessly passed out lapel pins that promoted the hall. He loved what he’d built so much that his first words following surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm in 1999 came in the form of a request for pins to hand out to doctors and nurses. There was so much to see at the hall that a pair of boxing gloves from Ali remained in the basement, outside of public view. Now, the emptiness of Breitbard’s office is jarring. “It’s emotional,” Gayle said. “But we’re really energized by this, believe it or not. This is a good thing for the hall.”

No firm closing date has been picked, though Hall Executive Director Drew Moser said it will be late spring or early summer. Until then, who knows what else might show up? Check all the drawers, just in case.

A SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP

San Diego Hall of Champions founder Bob Breitbard and legendary baseball player Ted Williams forged a life-long friendship. The two shared sports and laughs at Hoover High School - along with a typing class. “Bob would joke that he taught Ted everything he knew,” said Jerry Klusky, Breitbard’s son in law. “Ted said, ‘Yeah, about typing.’ ” When Williams returned home, Breitbard and his daughter Gayle often picked him up at the airport.

Williams called daily from his home in Florida when Breitbard’s late wife, Lillie, fought cancer in 1997. The sluggler had a coffee cake business he’d grown to love in Boston while playing for the Red Sox ship treats every other day. “There’s only so much coffee cake you can eat,” Jerry joked. “They were amazing friends, right to the very end.”
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