While no official announcement has been made, there has been progress in nailing down dates for Pensacon 2017. Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley says they have moved forward with both the Pensacola Bay Center and the Pensacola Ice Flyers, with help from the Escambia County Commission and have come to the table to talk about the dates Pensacon wanted and how things could be arranged so they can be used. Ensley says it looks like the county is putting its money where its nerd culture is. "Provisionally there's been $20,000 approved to help the hockey team relocate for that weekend." He says "hopefully in the next week or so that will get passed and we will know for sure when our dates will be next year."
Ensley says as far as he knows the Southern Professional Hockey League has not been involved in the negotiations. "As far as I know it's just been the team (they are) the people who have been at the table. The Ice Flyers themselves, their management, the Bay Center management; and, as I said, the county commissioners have said (they) are willing to pick up the cost for this because of the economic impact that Pensacon brings."
According to Ensley, many members of the public have contacted the county commissioners to plead Pensacon's case and that has had an impact. A Facebook page called "Save Pensacon" was put up and had 1,700 "likes" within a few days. He also says all of the other Pensacon venues in the area, including the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Saenger Theater, and the Rex Theater have already reserved the dates for next year.
Ensley says they estimate there were over 23,000 people at this year’s convention, but they are still waiting for the final economic impact numbers from Visit Pensacola. He hopeful there will be a final announcement about Pensacon 2017 by the end of next week.