Strong warning to Robert and the rest of the PAX crew: Please scope out the entrance and predict pedestrian patterns. I don't know who designed the new layout, but it is terrible.
As a little background, I am a local. So I have attended dozens of events and cons at the Henry B Gonzalez Center. I get that it needed an upgrade, and while the inside may be an improvement, the entrance is a mess. My observations are based on Alamo City Comic Con, an event that drew over 70k people the last two years and may have topped 80k this year, so very comparable to PAX.
The entrance is beautiful. But if you stand at the entrance and look out, you see....a wall. Okay, it's more of a wrought-iron fence and embankment, but the result is the same. Foot traffic cannot cross the street. Looking to the right, you have the highway. It is right there. So lots of cars are heading that way, and almost no foot traffic is going to walk that way. Pretty much all of the hotels are to the left of the entrance. That means almost all your traffic is walking to the left, on a narrow sidewalk. Which would be bad enough, except you have to cross three
active driveways with their own walk/don't walk signs in a space of maybe 20 feet. And they are not coordinated. So you have hundreds of people at a time being chopped up into tiny groups on the sidewalk, waiting for the lights and dodging cars (which are entering and exiting the hotel via those 3 driveways). It was a real mess.
Luckily, ACCC had contracted for police to be there during some of the busiest times. They had to creatively direct traffic to keep everyone moving safely. Sometimes this meant blocking the 3 hotel driveways to allow pedestrians unobstructed access fora minute. Better still, some officers would simply block all four directions of traffic (there is also a regular intersection right there) and allow pedestrians to cross diagonally and go right into the big parking structure across the street from the old convention center.
If PAX somehow makes use of what is left of the old convention center, it will slightly ameliorate this. People exiting from the Lila Cockrell Theatre emerge on the far side of this mess and are greeted by a crosswalk straight across the street (to the hotel or parking garage) or unblocked sidewalk access to the left down the street towards the other hotels. But even though ACCC used the Theatre, not many people left the convention from that area. It's a long walk down a hallway (the full width of the hotel) to reach the Theatre from the main convention space, so it's a bit isolated. And I assume PAX will mostly be in the new space.
As an addendum, the panel rooms above the open lobby (the 221 and 225 blocks) also have serious routing issues when lots of people head towards them. Scouting them early and planning lines is vital, particularly for the rooms along the narrow side, reachable only via a small bridge. I suggest PAX avoids using these rooms except for staff or for events that will see very light attendance.
I hope this helps. The convention center is beautiful and has a cool Enterprise Next-Gen and Moss Eisley Cantina vibe to some of its rest areas. Plus, food options seem more plentiful and convenient (though I didn't purchase any myself). PAX is a lot more experienced and organized than the local event I intended, so I'm hoping they can sidestep these issues with some forethought.