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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Pros and Cons

Want To Attend Every Day Of SDCC This Year? Get Ready To Work For It.

Comic-Con International has made a rather significant change to their badge sales for this year’s big San Diego show. You can no longer buy 4-day badges. But you can still go all four days, plus preview night. Probably. Hopefully. 

Getting into Comic-Con as press is difficult enough, but for regular attendees, things just got more difficult. There will be no 4-day badges available this time around, only individual day sales. (unaffiilcated with the convention) reported on the change. Here’s what the official site says:

New for 2014! Only single day badges will be sold. The Preview Night badge option may only be purchased if you buy a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday badge. Preview Night is not a stand alone badge option. As in 2013, anyone who purchases a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday badge will have the option of consolidating them into one 4-Day badge onsite.

Not everyone wants to attend SDCC all four days, and for those folks, this isn’t a big deal. But it is for fans who want to attend the whole show. Why? In order to go all four days, you need to buy 4 individual day passes. But whoops! Lots of people only wanted to go Saturday (or Friday, Sunday, etc) and those passes sold out before you had a chance to buy all four!

At least, that’s how I see this new sale option going down. The only upside I see is more people being able to attend for a single day. Maybe? In the past, some people have purchased 4-day badges as a safety net but don’t wind up attending all 4 days. That’s potential single day entries out the window due to how many people can be in the building at once. Still, probably not a huge advantage for anyone. also mentioned a $10 price jump when all is said and done if you want to attend all four days plus preview night. Is this an effort to squeeze a few more dollars out of the majority of preview night guests? The ones who come to buy up all the toys and sell them on Ebay at exorbitant price hikes? Again, those folks might be out of luck if they can’t secure Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday badges.

Everything else looks to be about the same. Tickets will go on sale (date still unconfirmed) first to those who attended the previous year, then open up to everyone else who wants to try. The convention also notes, “During preregistration you may purchase badges for up to three people total, yourself included.” But all must have secured their Member ID and be eligible for pre-registration (pre-reg = attended last year).

All in all, I’m not sure I see a huge positive or negative impact from this change but what do you think? I’m starting to think downtown San Diego should just change its name to Downtown Comic-Con and hold events year-round.

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  • Anonymous

    Okay, the ticket registration site has been subject to server crashes from the amount of traffic, you have loads of people coming in from out of state for SDCC, and the programming isn’t announced until two weeks prior, which is usually when one determines the better days to attend, and only selling one day passes is a solution how? Wish I’d gotten my professional status updated in time, but I don’t think I’ll mind sitting this one out. This sounds like so much potential for a clusterfuck.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think SDCC is a good idea any more. They try to be everything to everyone, and end up being a huge mess. Too crowded, sell out too quickly, and there’s no way you could do even close to all the stuff you want. I went to emerald city comiccon last year, and had a great time. I was able to buy tickets the week before the con (though Saturday was sold out), I was able to do most of what I wanted, and I didn’t feel like a sardine. There was a good variety of guests, plenty to do and buy, and for a reasonable price. Plus it is within driving distance.

    Skip the insanity. Find a con that has a decent amount of guests that you are interested in, and go to that instead. You save money, and have a better chance of being able to actually get to do most of what you want there.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    No, just pre-registration means you have attended the year before. I’ll edit slightly in case that wasn’t clear.

  • Cad Wallader

    I recommend Convergence in Minneapolis. Always a blast. This year I’m also checking out Denver Comic Con. You could not pay me to attend San Diego. Maybe when I was a teenager in the 90s, but holy lord not anymore. That sea of humanity is a young person’s game, whether it’s one day or four.

  • Travis

    “I’m starting to think downtown San Diego should just change its name to Downtown Comic-Con and hold events year-round.”

    I could get behind that idea… but I wanna go bigger.

    Comic-Con Island!

  • Anonymous

    CC has become this huge lumbering beast unable to support it’s own weight. New people find it nearly impossible to get tickets because most of the people who do have tickets spend nearly their entire first day waiting in line to get tickets for next year. Hotel rates get jacked up astrononomically, if you can even get one. Then they spend all night camping out, hoping to get into a single panel that they’ll watch on a screen anyway.

  • Travis

    As for the tickets, it shouldn’t be a big change. It’s not like the Friday/Saturday badges are going to sell faster alone as they would when they were part of the 4-day package.

  • Ashe

    I’ve never been to a convention before, so my opinion’s going to be pretty basic…but this sounds a little limiting.

    Why not offer both kinds of passes? People have different schedules as well as want different things out of the convention. Having to go get passes daily runs the risk of long, repeated wait times (which cuts into doing what you want to do). Then there’s the possibility of running out of passes and leaving those who wanted to attend the full weekend (with wares on the line, even) with few options.

    Topping it off, SDCC is huge and busy and always very full. This just doesn’t sound like a good idea.

  • Elwyne

    I recommend Geek Girl Con in Seattle – lovely, intimate, not just for girls. Emerald City is on my list too. :)

  • Jaime A. Garcia

    I attended Comic-con back in 2011, and the whole ticket purchasing was a mess. The Hotel reservations were a little deceptive, and then the con itself was crowded as hell. Lines everywhere, you can’t get into the panels you want, you can’t walk on the exhibition floor, you can’t get the free stuff you wanted (I missed out on the Sword of Omens) and you can’t get the collectors stuff either, I only got the Kilowog figure from the Movie because the movie sucked (But I do love me some Kilowog). All in all, I think SDCC is FREAKING AWESOME!!!! I had a blast! I really want to back sometime, but I think I’ll try the “smaller” Cons like NYCC or Fan Expo some time in the near future.

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  • Anonymous

    Fan expo is a mess as well, ticket prices keep going up and up. And there have been many times where tickets were oversold and day passers couldn’t get in since the fire marshall halted access.

  • Anonymous

    I used to want to go to SDCC but between budget and time limits, I’ve never gotten around to it. And I’ve heard nothing but horror stories from people about system crashes when trying to purchase tickets, passes selling out near instantly, and crowding, crowding, crowding. “Cattle call” has been used in the reviews from my friends, even the ones with no major complaints. It also sounds like there’s so much stuff going on all the time that it’s hard to get to see all the things you want to and even if you get in the door you might not /see/ much because of all the people.

    I think I lucked out the years I was able to go to/volunteer for Emerald City Comicon. They’re getting bigger every year and have their own share of hassles, but the scale seems to be a little more manageable. And they’re getting some cool people. Really jealous I’m on the East Coast now and can’t get to them anymore. And I missed out on Geek Girl Con, too, dammit.

  • Katie Frederick

    That’s how they’ve done it in the past, with Full Event passes and then single days, so I guess they just want to try something different this time since not everyone who buys a Full Pass attends all four days.Also, those people who buy passes for all four days will get automatically upgraded to a Full Event pass when you go to pick up your badge. That’s what I had to do last year. And I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t get all four days, you can pick up all your badges at once without having to come back later

  • Talia

    This is a little Tina Belcher Groan inducing, as I’d like to get a four day pass, if even just so that I can get into the exhibit all every day (you really do need 4 days for it) and get a preview night badge. I feel like SDCC has a lot of issues they need to address, but this didn’t seem like the right or top priority one.

    I had a great time at Comic Con when I went in 2012, but 2013 was a bit of a disappointing experience. While it was easier to get passes because we were able to do pre-registration, getting into the main halls and even some of the smaller ones was nearly impossible if you didn’t sleep overnight on concrete. My friend and I woke up at 4 am to try and get into Hall H and just barely got to the front before we gave up over 8 hours later. Getting into smaller halls was almost equally as frustrating. And as others have said, if you have any sort of claustrophobia or fear of throngs of people, well, you gotta suck it up. But it is kind of outrageous how many people are there, and how that’s starting to be more of a disadvantage.

    However, we found just as many fun activities to do outside of the main SDCC experience, like the premier of Black Sails, Nerd HQ’s Conversations for a Cause, and small indie comic gatherings and mini-cons. I’d almost say that buying a two day pass and focusing your efforts on outside activities is the way to go. Either way, I’ll be interested to see how this change affects those that want to go the full week.

  • Travis

    For all intents and purposes, both passes are still offered. It’s just instead of buying the 4-day pass right off the bat, you buy 4 one-day passes and then they give you the 4-day pass when you pick it up on Wednesday/Thursday (depending on if you do Preview Night).

    On the consumer side, there should be no difference. I suspect this was done to simplify things on the distribution side.

  • Ashe

    Ah, I see! That alleviates some of my concerns, as I’d like to go someday.

  • Ashe

    Good point. Hopefully this doesn’t have any strings attached, as just reading here, SDCC doesn’t get a lot of confidence in how it’s run…

  • BatiHoney

    Let me get this straight: people who have already gone at least once and had the experience still get an advantage to buy the tickets before the people who have never attended? How is that fair or makes sense???

    I want to go, but between the comments on this article and the fact that you have to plan everything way ahead without any security that you will be able to buy the tickets (last year they ran out after one hour or so and the servers were crashed) it feels almost impossible to attend… :(

  • Scorp

    I typically go to GenCon in Indianapolis. Technically it’s a (non-electronic) Gaming Con, but it has parts catering to all sections of geekdom. Hickman’s Killer Breakfast is probably one of the best events to go to.

  • James

    Sounds like the organizers of the SDCC WANT people to stop coming to it. I went a few years ago when the price was $100 for all 4 days (w/ preview night). The next year the price jumped to $175. I was told, unofficially, that they wanted FEWER people to come. It had gotten to big and they needed thin the crowds a bit. I used to be excited to go again, but maybe now I’ll just try and hit a few of the smaller cons.

  • Trask

    I recommend Dragon*Con. After they booted out that asshole off the board, things have gotten a lot better. Plus there’s always something to do, a party to go to, and a place to eat.

  • Rebecca Moen

    I can’t agree, we went last year and had the time of our lives. SDCC is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

  • Amber

    Antai- San Diego is a great city to visit. Even if you can’t get passes for all four days, there are wonderful things to do downtown related to the con. Or you can spend a day at the beach and away from the crowds :)

  • Geoff Maddox

    To add to this a bit, there’s so much geek stuff going on in the periphery while SDCC is going on that, to me, is just as fun as Comic-Con itself. I’m planning on downgrading from my usual 4 day pass to a couple of 1 days and instead spending time at various off-site events, seeing comedy shows, NerdHQ, etc.

  • Jaime A. Garcia

    I’m Mexican, and we too are accustomed to queuing up for anything. I got some autographs from Kevin Conroy and Penn and Teller. Got into half the panels I wanted to attend, but did get to see Kevin Smith live in Hall H. I was also at the surprise Conan O’Brien appearance at the Green Lantern panel. I felt the whole event was awesome, and I would very much like to go again. I may give the volunteer route a try.

  • Antai Ramos Stevens

    yes either way i get to go to san diego on vacation! =D

  • Shiloh West

    The outside activities were a lot of fun! We went last year 2013 and had a blast. There was a lot of things to do and free stuff too. My daughter got an autograph from one of her favorite authors (free). It was cool how they had some things from movies that were coming out, Props and such.
    The only thing that dissappoints me to this day is that because I didn’t have a badge I missed out on seeing Loki in all his glory in Hall H.
    This year I’m hoping to actually get a badge, I know it will be crowded but it’s going to be exciting!