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Comic-Con 2011: The Truth About Comic-Con Ticketing

Things are changing for the world’s biggest nerd-fest.  For the first time ever people are camping out for next-year’s con DURING this year’s con… How meta is that?  From reports we’ve been hearing Comic-Con fans have been lining up as early as 11pm just for the opportunity to get passes the following morning.
Panels we can understand, but camping out for tickets? This is the first year any such madness has occurred.

Disclaimer:  We here at NA love Comic-Con, but feel as though the ticketing process has gotten a bit “wacky”, to put things nicely.

Here is a list of some info we’ve come across, some of which may be second hand.

  • Ticket prices for four day badges make a significant leap in price to $175.00, no doubt in an attempt to limit their demand.  Sure they’ll still sell like hot-cakes, but $175.00 is a lot of cash.
  • Less tickets were sold this year on purpose.  According to what we’ve been hearing from a few inside sources the fire-marshall was getting pretty agitated with Comic-Con and actually told them they’d have to cut their numbers or leave San Diego.  Less tickets sold means… well… they’re a lot harder to get.  We don’t have any actual numbers for you yet, but as soon as we do you’ll be the first to know.
  • More offsite programming to cull the herd.  If you’ve wandered the floor this year you’ll notice that it’s not as busy as 2009 and 2010.  With companies like BioWare and Nerd Machine offering off-site programming, the need to have an actual Comic-Con ticket to enjoy Comic-Con is starting to dwindle.  Heck, there are even some off-site panels this year!
  • The lines: If you build them, they will come.  I don’t want to tell you guys things you already know, but these lines only exist because you’re in them!  This has never happened in the history of Comic-Con and something is seriously broken.
  • Limited tickets sold daily to make it “fair” to those that aren’t able to attend this years show.  If Comic-Con has roughly 120,000 attendees (old numbers..) and half of those people decide they wish to return to next year’s convention, then Comic-Con only has 60,000 tickets to sell to the general public.  When every major media outlet in the world is covering your event, the demand for tickets gets pretty absurd.

Again Comic Con, we love you, but something has to be done to improve your relationship with us, your biggest fans.  Do you really want to see people in sleeping bags outside of a hotel for nights on end after they already paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars to attend this year’s convention?  We’re your friends SDCC, let’s work something better out. Oh, and please follow us on Twitter!  We report on games, pop-culture, tech and all things nerdy. Thanks gang!

  • Dibol

    Jeez. I think “wacky” is the biggest understatement of the decade. I wouldn’t be surprised someone incites a riot larger than the Rodney King scandal. If it does happen, full support from me.

    • Justin

      Pretty soon tickets to comic con will be like season tickets to certain football teams: impossible to get because unless you are handed down one from generation to generation.

      I don’t like the idea of selling tickets there for next year, even if it’s limited. Makes it harder for people who didn’t attend to get tickets.

      Why not split up the con into an event that occurs twice a year? Limits the crowds and still brings in cash.