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Macworld Expo may leave Big Apple

Costs associated with holding the event in New York are prompting the managing company to possibly return the show to Boston.

The big Mac show is thinking of leaving the Big Apple.

IDG World Expo, which moved the East Coast edition of Macworld Expo to New York in 1998 after holding it in Boston for 12 years, is thinking of reversing course.

IDG says that costs associated with staging the event at New York's Javits Center are prompting it to evaluate its options, namely a return to Boston.

"The issue of rising costs has become significant, and it's impacting us all--exhibitors, attendees and speakers. That's why we're weighing options on the East Coast for Macworld Conference & Expo in the hopes that we can help control those costs," Rob Scheschareg, vice president of sales, marketing and product development, said in a statement.

"We're gathering feedback from our exhibitors, attendees and speakers. When we do make a decision, it will be well-informed, well-communicated and well in advance."

IDG officials say nothing has been decided and the company is seeking to meet with both sides in the coming weeks. IDG is seeking two to three years of free rent from the Boston venue and is also looking for New York City officials to come up with a plan of their own to keep the show.

Although attendance was down this year over last, last month's show still drew some 58,000 people to the Javits Center.

While moving the show would cut costs, rebuilding the audience base could be a challenge, as it was when the show first moved to New York, sources say. Space and logistical concerns prompted the move to New York, which has hosted the July event for the past five years. IDG also stages a Macworld Expo in San Francisco each January.

An Apple Computer representative was not immediately available for comment.