Comic-Con doesn’t hit downtown San Diego until Jul. 24 but some prospective attendees will get their first chance to buy tickets to the famous pop culture event beginning this Saturday.
According to David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations for San Diego Comic-Con, badge “preregistration” sales kick off Saturday at 9 a.m., with a special online “waiting room” opening at 7 a.m. for those interested in scoring the very first available batch of badges to the big event.
The preregistration sale event is only open to select attendees who bought a Comic-Con badge last year and were given a valid member ID number and special code.
Glanzer said those who are eligible to partake in the special sale will receive an email from Comic-Con organizers at least 24 hours in advance of the sale. This email will include a personal registration code, log on information and link to the online waiting room that opens at 7 a.m.
Once a member is in the waiting room, they will be lined up in random order for their registration session, no matter what time they arrived in the waiting room. Again, from there, the actual sales will begin at 9 a.m.
Still, the Comic-Con website says there are “more eligible attendees than badges available” for the preregistration sale, so not everyone who is eligible will necessarily be able to buy a badge on Saturday.
“You can increase your chances of obtaining a badge by reading all of the instructions carefully and having your personal information ready on the day of the sale,” the website suggests.
Glanzer agreed, and said preparation is key.
"Please be prepared. Review the information on our website and the accompanying video and make sure you have all your information at hand before the sale begins," he said.
By the way, during the preregistration sale, attendees may purchase badges for up to three people total, themselves included. Forms of payment accepted in the online sale include Visa, MasterCard and American Express only. Paypal or payments using multiple credit cards will not be accepted, according to the event website.
For those not eligible for the preregistration sale, organizers said another sale for the general public will occur in the future. However, organizers said they do not yet have a time frame for that sale.
This year, badge prices for adults range from $30 to $45 per day, depending on the day one chooses to attend the event. On Thursday (Jul. 24), Friday (Jul. 25) and Saturday (Jul. 26), for example, the cost of a one-day badge is $45.
Each year, the event is notoriously known to sell out quickly.
In the past, the Comic-Con ticket sales website has experienced glitches and hiccups, including in November 2010 when fans trying to purchase tickets to the 2011 convention were met with frustrating error messages as the website crashed during the high-traffic frenzy for badges.
In 2013, more than 130,000 people managed to snag badges and attend San Diego Comic-Con. Last year’s event offered more than 600 hours of programming spanning 460,000-square-feet of exhibit hall space at the San Diego Convention Center.
Comic-Con was born in 1970 in the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in the heart of San Diego. Over the decades, the “little event that could” has grown into a behemoth, taking over the Convention Center, neighboring hotels and downtown San Diego for a long summer weekend every year.
Comic-Con’s fervent fans typically attend the convention in elaborate costumes, transforming the city into a metropolis straight out of the pages of fantasy and science fiction. The event has also become famous for celebrity sightings.