San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Badges Sell Out In Less Than a Day

     February 6, 2011

Comic-Con, the mecca for all things nerdy, has reached a new milestone in 2011: all attendance badges for the July event have sold out in one day. That means there are 100,000+ fans out there who are very happy today, while many others will have to scour sites like eBay to find passes. This year looks to be every bit as crowded as 2010, as even the Preview Night badges had sold out before last year’s convention had even closed.

Comic-Con has seen a steady growth in attendance every year of its 42-year run, but has absolutely exploded in popularity over the last 5 years. While it’s great for fans and businesses in the San Diego area, the influx of that much nerdery has its share of complications. Already, Comic-Con 2011 has hit a stumbling block as the registration company TicketLeap suffered technical difficulties when their system got swamped with requests.

For a brief history of Comic-Con and a look at the meltdown of TicketLeap, hit the jump.

In 2006, overcrowding became an issue for the convention and many speculated the event was growing too large for the San Diego Convention Center. Some of the 123,000 attendees that year were turned away at the gates for a brief period of time to alleviate the congestion.

2007’s convention saw similar numbers, but tickets sold out for the first time ever.

In 2008, Comic-Con did away with on-site registration and still managed to sell out over 126,000 badges weeks ahead of the July event.

2009 again saw similar attendance but sold out tickets months in advance.

Finally, 2010’s attendance swelled to 130,000+ while selling out Preview Night in October, 2009. The convention itself was sold out by March.

Which brings us to 2011, and a convention that almost wasn’t, due to TicketLeap’s near breakdown:

Timeline from Twitter user @ticketleap

@Comic_Con fans, if you see an over capacity message hit refresh. We are under heavy load right now and it should smooth out. #sdcc (21 hours ago)

Hey @Comic_Con, @ticketleap is seeing lots of transactions going through. Keep trying! (19 hours ago)

Hey #sdcc keep trying. We apologize for the over capacity pages. Stick with it, you’ll get through (19 hours ago)

#SDCC fans continue to refresh if you see over capacity pages. If you submit billing info and get an error, REFRESH don’t hit back button. (19 hours ago)

All @Comic_Con badges are sold out. If you didn’t receive a confirmation email on Saturday, we are sending the rest out on Monday. #sdcc (15 minutes ago)

Though the crowds in the convention center will be near capacity, and hotel space will come at a premium, Comic-Con announced they would be staying in San Diego through 2015. Those of you who survived the TicketLeap debacle now have the melee of hotel reservations to look forward to. Good luck!

Though Comic-Con has yet to post any programming notes, you can follow their updates through all sorts of social media here.

  • Rukia

    Ticket Leap really did a terrible job. I suggest Comic Con go with someone else next year.

    • Tiffany

      You can’t be mad at TicketLeap, think about it, 150,000+ people were all online at the same time trying to buy tickets through the same site. ALL of the tickets completely sold out in about 3 hours. That is a massive load of traffic for any site at one time to handle, plus many people were able to get their tickets anyway. It was a frustrating day, but I don’t think it was TicketLeap’s fault.

      • Andrew

        We can in fact be mad at ticket leap had comicon not gone to a company that describes themselves as “small time” and gone to a place like ticketmaster that can handle traffic like that I and many frustrate thousands would have tickets I personally was up at 9 waiting an refreshed for 3 hours before giving up so I beleive I do in fact have a right to hate ticket leap

    • done with the CON

      I like San Diego, I like Comic-Con at San Diego.. what needs to move is all the MOVIE STARs/MOVIE Hollywood mayham that Comic-Con has been promoting the past for years…. all your getting these days tons of trendy people who want to see moviestars vs. comics….

      I’m done with Comic-Con untill the get back to their roots of Comics… which i doubt that’s going to happen. so i’m going to start going to WonderCon instead.

  • ringbearer1420

    Just make it a week long.

  • ComicConMember

    David Glanzer and the Comic Con team really screwed this year up!!!!!!!!! They don’t care about the regular comic con attendees who have supported this event over the years. I’ve attended every year since the early ninties and this will be the first year that I’ve missed because of the ticket sales debacle. I am really disappointed!!!!!!!!!!

    • broski

      You mad bro

    • Mo

      Well to be honest, if regularly attended since the mid 90′s you would have seen the trend in increasing people attending and ticket sales selling out sooner and sooner. Also you might have been a little more clever knowing this information and bought them a year in advance at last years comic con. I’m going because I got a em a year ahead of time because I knew registration this year was going to be NUTS! Sorry for your loss this year, but hopefully you can still find a way to go.

    • Aida

      I know how you feel. I first started going in the early 1980s and went as often as I possibly could. It was really great back then. 2010 was a disaster!

  • Rukia

    Of course they don’t.

    Theoretically it’s better for the event and for the city for out of town people to buy up all of the tickets.

  • ogreboy2666

    Why would they go with a no name in the first place? The number of unwashed last year was over 130,000 strong, why let some hackneyed company handle all that traffic? I know that using Ticketmaster or Stubub would increase the price of the passes for those attending but a higher price might slow down traffic and increase the availability of the tickets, you know to 2 days.

    There were too many people there last year (thanks to all the movie announcements) and if it is bigger this year, I would not be surprised if something bad happens.

  • J. Jonah Jameson

    You can’t even buy them on eBay because the tickets have someone else’s name on them. Suuuuuuucks.

  • azulle

    for the “regular” comic con goers… you shouldn’t be whining. i’m a devoted attendee, and the first thing i do when i go through registration is i walk over to the tickets booth to buy my next years pass. so don’t blame ticketleap… o_O

  • Shan

    I am sorry, but it is a clear indication that the city of San Diego isn’t capable of handling the demand anymore.

    I fluked my 2010 attendance by just Googling in the wee hours (because I am in Australia) and got the ticket with preview night.

    I loved San Diego and would go again, but the reality is too many people want to go & and there is not enough resources there.

    1) Hotels are super-expensive compared to quite a few cities.
    2) Not enough hotels to hold the attendances.
    3) traders have a waiting list going into years before they can
    4) Now you are starting to hear of just as many people attending
    as those who are disappointed to have missed out.

    I understand the ‘Spiritual Home’ argument but if its gone ‘International’ then it conflicts with the idea of promoting itself as an International Event.

    Bad mistake to have not moved it. They need to develop another convention using the International theme (ON THE WESTERN COAST somewhat) and place in a place that can take huge crowds…. LA is ho-hum, but seriously consider Vegas:

    1) Hotels are so cheap
    2) Hotels are plentiful so you could get as many people there
    without any issue.
    3) Casino or convention centre they hook up with will gain them
    access to their booking systems – which will handle it.
    4) We will be in-doors in air-conditioning all day
    5) We can actually go out and have fun at night without clogging up
    every restaurant or public transport vehicle in the town.

  • Rockslide

    I’m not a fan of Vegas myself, but its clear that its about the only city really built to handle what Comic-Con has become. I was at Comic-Con in San Diego back in 2003 and it was getting pretty crazy. I can’t imagine it now. I’d love to go back but not with all the current inconveniences and over-population. It was hard enough to walk the halls in 2003. If they moved it to Vegas, I would be much more likely to attend.

  • jesse t

    really pissed gon to comic con for last 10 years no problem it’s like x-mas in july. but thanks to ticket leap after spending four hours sat morning trying to get tx leap to submit my purchase for tix. i got nothing. i live in san diego and am goin to have to deall c all th negatives of th e con with no pro’s

  • Aida

    We attempted to buy tickets at the beginning in November to no avail. We were on exactly at 9 a.m. on February 5th, received the “Overloaded” web page and continued to refresh once again to no avail. I just feel it was unfair that we tried so hard with no success when perhaps some person on their first try was able to get in and purchase tickets. They need to correct this problem for 2012.

  • Glenn

    The solution to the ticketing fiasco is simple. It’s a solution that nobody wants but they might have no choice in the matter. TICKETMASTER… Yes Ticketmaster price gouges, facilitates scalping and the $12-20 service charge per ticket is ridiculous but they have the servers and the means to handle the traffic that no other ticketing service has. I mean they were able to handle the almost 100,000 seat sellout for the UFC Toronto (The original block of 42,000 sold out in the first day of a pre-sale and the show sold out at 55,000 within minutes of going on sale to the general public.) and nobody complained about system crashes, slowdowns or overall frustration at getting tickets.

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