Sunday, July 1, 2012

North American National Championship Qualifier Locations

Initially leaked in an Anime Expo 2012 announcement, revised dating and location information for the 2012 North America qualifiers has just been added to the Bushiroad website. With consultation from professional event planner and media manager Alyssa Fisher, here is our forecast for the events.

Marriott Toronto Airport Hotel, Toronto, Canada: September 1st. Most event spaces at this hotel only seat 12-16 people, so speculating on the event's locale is easier. The conference rooms have enough room to host the Canadian qualifier, but do not provide a single open space for the tournament to be overseen in. The Grand (840-1000 individuals) or Junior Ballrooms (180) are much more likely locations due to their open shape and high carrying capacity.

Wyndham Dallas Love Field Hotel, Dallas, Texas: September 8th. Less information is available for this location than most, but the First Class A&B rooms can accommodate 330-600 people in various configurations.

Update: This location has been changed to Hyatt Regency Dallas. This is probably due to Hyatt's higher carrying capacity, as virtually any event space in the hotel can hold 1,000 people. Marsalis Hall on the exhibition level is one possibility due to its enormous size, well suited to being stocked with arranged and cordoned-off tables to create competition space, but it may be too large for the estimated attendance. The Reunion Ballroom or Landmark sections on the lobby level are also probable, with many configurations that lend themselves well to the qualifier while maintaining a high seating count.

Gamesmart MX, Mexico City, Mexico: September 15th. Information on this facility is sparse, but notably the website mentions that the winner of the qualifier will receive plane tickets and accommodations to the championship site.

The Comcast Arena, (Listed as Seattle, Washington but actually in Everett, Washington): September 15th. The Edward D. Hansen Conference Center addition is almost confirmed as the site (it's specified on the CF-Vanguard website where otherwise you would only list "The Comcast Arena"), but any given event space inside of it can hold up to 800 people, so there's no specific location that can be said of at this time.

Chicago Marriott Schaumburg Hotel, Chicago, Illinois: September 22nd. The most likely place for the qualifier is the ballroom, which can seat up to 1000 people. The only other area within the hotel grounds of comparable size is the Grand Marquis Tent, which can seat up to 350 people, but as it is a tent it is most likely unsuitable for the qualifier's purposes.

New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center, (Listed as New York but actually inside of New Jersey): October 6th. Any of the four exhibit halls has a carrying capacity exceeding 1000. The conference center can probably be ruled out due to how the space is compartmentalized, but exhibit halls A through D still stand. Taking into account the junior and main ballrooms, the designated space is basically impossible to predict.

North Atlanta Trade Center, Atlanta, Georgia: October 13th. Appears to provide only a single space, so speculation is unnecessary.

Anaheim Convention Center, (Listed as Los Angeles, California but actually located in Anaheim, California): November 3rd. This is where the national championship will be held. The situation is essentially the same as with the NJCEC, being that there's no particular space that lends itself well to the situation. The first floor exhibit halls are likely, however. Note that this was a past Anime Expo location.

While even the most popular of card games often only see a turnout of around 500 to these types of tournaments, when accounting for spectators, as well as friends and family brought in by the participants, the total room needed by the event space doubles.