Comic-Con to take over Hall of Champions museum space

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Hall of Champions announced Thursday that Comic-Con International will take over its building in Balboa Park to create a museum for the popular arts.

The financially struggling sports museum said its Breitbard Hall of Fame will be relocated later this year to Petco Park.

The plan is to mount the 153 induction plaques in the busy main concourse of the Western Metals Building, and have it open sometime during the Padres’ season.

The Hall of Champions’ historical artifacts will be moved to the San Diego History Center. The hall’s programs, such as the local sports Stars of the Month and annual Salute to the Champions induction dinner, will continue.

“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, daughter of Bob Breitbard —  the hall’s namesake — and a 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,” Klusky said.

It was reported last June that officials of the two organizations were discussing an arrangement for Comic-Con to lease part or all of the space in the building in the Pan American Plaza section of the park.

A statement from Comic-Con International said, in part, “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.”

This year’s edition of the wildly successful Comic-Con International celebration of the popular arts is scheduled to begin with the annual Preview Night on July 19 at the San Diego Convention Center, with the main portion of the show set for July 20-23.

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