Michael Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Association, said at a media dinner, “E3 is a world class show that deserves a world class venue. The Los Angeles Convention Center is no longer a top-tier property.”
There are a few issues the ESA has run into with the LA Convention Center. The challenge of reserving a hotel room has become more of a problem for the attendees that have traveled far; even though a large hotel is currently under construction, it still won’t be enough when finished. Another concern is that the convention center’s spread out floor plan requires long walking distances between appointments. The old age of the convention center has also become a complication. “[The center’s West Hall is] a challenging place to put on an engaging experience,” says Gallagher.
E3 has been held in LA for 17 out of its 19 years running. Most game publishers work in Los Angeles and San Francisco, so having the event take place in the California area has made the travel expenses less of an issue for them.
“We’ll consider all cities that can improve the experience”
Gallagher had mentioned changing E3’s venue before in 2012, due to the unresolved issues at the time surrounding the pending construction of Farmers Field and the newly reconstructed convention center. The ESA was looking into San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, and Chicago. Chicago almost became the new home of E3, but in the end Gallagher signed a three-year agreement to continue using the Los Angeles Convention Center as the venue. That deal expires in 2015. “The time to make this decision is relatively short,” Gallagher stated. “We’ll consider all cities that can improve the experience.”
Gallagher has not yet named other cities the ESA is considering. He has, however, indicated that they were looking into other venues in the greater LA area.