Comic-Con Fans Frustrated with Ticket Sales

Badges for the popular convention available to those who registered

Tickets for the largest comic book expo in the country were snatched up just 80 minutes after going on sale Saturday.

Comic-Con, which will last from July 11 to 15, is the year's most anticipated event for many celebrities, pop culture gurus and self-proclaimed nerds.

For the past several years, Comic-Con's website has crashed upon opening ticket sales to the public.

To combat any potential crashes this year, Comic-Con's organizers set up a member ID registration process. Fans were able to sign up online before Feb. 28, and then buy badges on the website March 3. They were given a date and time to buy their tickets.

The directions came with a warning to potential ticket-holders though: 

"If your place in line is over 40,000, it is possible that you will not get a badge. If your place in line is under 40,000, it is possible that you still may not get a badge because buyers are allowed to register up to 6 people per registration session," read an email sent to registered members.

A Comic-Con spokesperson said the new system functioned quite well, and actually sped up the process. Last year, due to the crashes, tickets were sold out after 7 hours. This year, they disappeared after an hour and 20 minutes.

However, the new system is anything but simpler for many fans, who say the registration process has too many hoops to jump through.

"The process for registration this year at SDCC has been beyond frustrating," said Sarah Pilat, a San Diegan planning on attending the expo this year.

Pilat has been going to the expo since 2007, she said. She's watched the prices rise and the convention center get more and more crowded.

"Back then, registration was $50, and I bought a 4-day badge about a month in advance."

While Pilat is prepared to buy her tickets, she said many of her friends have dropped out. On NBC San Diego's Facebook page, several followers said they stopped going to the convention in the last few years. Others scolded the publicity of the event, worrying their long-awaited plans to buy tickets might be ruined by late-comers.

"SDCC truly is the highlight of my year," Pilat said. "It's so much fun, but I hope it continues to be worth it going into the future."

Monica Velarde said she decided not to go this year, mostly because the event has gotten over-packed and under-organized.

"Last year was much easier, there were more emails and updates distributed by Con and I was able to purchase tickets despite the long wait at my computer," Velarde said. "This year just feels almost overwhelmingly frustrating."

Take a look at last year's Comic-Con news, events and photos here.

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