Culture

Not everyone amused by eBay confab plans

SpongeBob SquarePants and ScoobyDoo will be hangin' with attendees at this year's annual eBay Live!trade show next month.

The San Jose-based company has rented out Paramount's Great America amusement park in nearby Santa Clara for the expected 10,000 convention-goers. However, some San Jose merchants who've been looking forward to the extra convention-related business, aren't amused, according to an article in the San Jose Mercury News (free registration required).

The event will take place mostly in downtown San Jose from Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25. The city is spending close to $7 million, according the Mercury News, to erect a "tent-like" expansion of the San Jose Convention Center to accommodate the gathering.

But in addition to spending Friday at Great America, 5,000-some attendees will travel northerly on Saturday night for a gala dinner at the Santa Clara Convention Center. A downtown San Jose restaurant manager said he's worried that the Santa Clara activities will draw people away. But eBay officials warned against reading too much into the Santa Clara activities.

"We're just giving people the opportunity to have some fun," eBay spokesman Henry Gomez told the Mercury News. "The convention is still about introducing eBay users to where eBay was born, and that is San Jose and Silicon Valley."