UPDATED: Ticket Sale Changes Coming for SDCC 2013!

San Diego Comic Con, SDCC Tips/Info

UPDATE: July 6th, 2012

The folks over at CCI have posted information on their important info site regarding online registration for 2013. In short, paid badge holders for 2012 only may participate in an online sale coming up in August.  Read below for the official blurb and let us know how you feel in the comments.


Each year more and more attendees line up for Comic-Con preregistration. Currently we do not have a location with adequate space to accommodate all those who line up; therefore Comic-Con 2013 preregistration will be conducted online only.

Comic-Con 2013 attendee badges will be available for purchase online through the EPIC registration website in August 2012. There will be no onsite preregistration at Comic-Con 2012 for Comic-Con 2013 badges. Only those that have purchased a Comic-Con 2012 4-day attendee or 1-day attendee badge will be eligible to participate in 2013 online preregistration.

Professionals, guests of professionals, exhibitors, exhibitor-purchased attendee badges, volunteers, staff, and press will not be allowed to participate in online preregistration in August. Open online registration for these categories will occur at a later date.

Those eligible for Comic-Con 2013 online preregistration will be able to purchase up to three badges total. You will need a unique Member ID for each badge purchased. Eligible 2012 attendees may purchase badges for other eligible 2012 attendees, but they will not be allowed to purchase badges for those who did not attend Comic-Con 2012 or for any of the ineligible categories mentioned above.

Eligible attendees will be notified after Comic-Con 2012, via email, with the date, time, and link for online badge preregistration. The notification will be sent to the email associated with the Member ID account.

Please be sure to “opt-in” to email correspondence to receive the preregistration badge sales announcement. To check your Member ID notification “opt-outs,” login to your account at https://secure2.comic-con.org/memberid/ and select the option “Change my preferences/unsubscribe.”

Thank you very much for your support of Comic-Con, and stay tuned for additional 2013 preregistration details!

UPDATE: May 21st, 2012

The folks at CCI have sent out a customer survey to current badge holders to gauge their feelings on possible future sales. In the email they state that there will not be any pick-ups during the con this year BUT they are considering allowing 2012 badge holders the option to buy passes for next year after the convention is over.

Here is the text below.



As a Comic-Con 2012 registered attendee you are receiving this email.

We hope you will agree to take a quick survey (8 questions) that could help us
better serve you in terms of future registration. Below is a link to the survey
which will be conducted on our vendor’s website at SurveyGizmo. The survey will
be open until midnight Friday, May 25, 2012 Pacific Time (PT).

<personalized link removed>

Please do NOT forward this link. If you do, other people will overwrite your data.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated help and for being an active part of Comic-Con International.

This message was sent by Comic-Con International, San Diego, CA 92112-8458.

You are receiving this email because you have signed up for a Comic-Con Member ID.


In an effort to better accommodate and understand the needs of our attendees Comic-Con has, from time to time, conducted audience feedback surveys. In the past, this has been done onsite on a one-on-one basis. The new Comic-Con Member ID system now allows us to conduct these surveys online and potentially use a wider test audience.

Receiving your input will better assist us in trying to find the best way to face the challenges of having a popular show for which there are more people who want to attend than we have badges to accommodate. By taking part in this survey you will become an active partner in helping Comic-Con meet the needs of our attendees and help to provide a better experience for all.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This survey is being distributed only to current 2012 badge holders.

Because of the sheer number of people who wanted to register at the show for the following year, we had to move 2012 pre-registration offsite to accommodate the lines of people and allow space for additional registration equipment.

Our plan in 2011, to have the pre-registration area open only until 11:00am each day or until the allotment of badges had been sold, was an effort to allow people to enjoy the show and not have to spend the entire day in line for badges. Unfortunately, even with these changes and a larger facility we could not accommodate every attendee who wanted to purchase a badge for Comic-Con 2012, and we did not avoid having a long line of people waiting to purchase those badges.

Comic-Con has decided to not offer onsite pre-registration for the 2013 show.

Instead, we plan to offer those who attend Comic-Con 2012 a special opportunity to purchase a 2013 badge after Comic-Con.

Answering the questions below will help us find the best solution to facilitate this process. Thank you for your cooperation and your assistance and for being an active part of Comic-Con International.


1. I like the idea of having some type of pre-registration sale limited only to people who attended in 2012.
2. I like the idea of a Traditional Online Sale for Comic-Con 2013 badges, where only those people with a 2012 badge could participate.
Traditional Online Sale – the general online sale which has been used for the bulk of the badge sales in past few years.
3. I like the idea of a Limited Drawing for Comic-Con 2013 badges, where only those with a 2012 badge could participate.
4. What number of total Comic-Con 2013 badges should we allocate for pre-registration to 2012 badge holders?
5. I think those with a Comic-Con 2012 badge should be allowed to purchase badges for friends and family who ALSO attended Comic-Con in 2012.
How many people should they be allowed to buy badges for (other than their own badge)
6. I think those with a Comic-Con 2012 badge should be allowed to purchase badges for friends and family who DID NOT attend Comic-Con in 2012
7. Did you pre-register for a Comic-Con 2012 badge at the 2011 show?
8. Have you pre-registered onsite in any year before 2011?


Sounds pretty major, huh? The new system looks like it could go a few different ways. For the sake of those who try yet cannot get into this con, I hope that the current holders opinions do not lead to an NFL Season Ticket style system where there could be a VERY long waiting list. We already had the dates for next year’s con leaked but this looks like it will be a game changer in how people plan for the next year’s SDCC. Do you have badges for 2012 and are looking forward to this opportunity? Did you miss out this year and fear the system might block you out year after year? Let us know how you feel about this change in the comments section!

Original post


While a veil of acceptance settled over most of the attendees of the just passed Big Show, a few people were still miserable, namely those who had to sleep out over night on concrete to get a ticket for next year, with the oft-heard, but seldom-heeded battle cry “I don’t think I’m coming next year.”

Maria and her family from Escondido got into line for pre-registration at 1:00 a.m. Saturday. “The floor was too hard and too cold, but we got our tickets.”

Joyce from San Diego summed up her feeling after her early-morning wait: “It’s just shameful and disrespectful.”

Dennis, from Vista, a Comic-Con attendee for 20 years, said, “I got into line at 5:45 a.m. and was number 741 in line. It took me four hours to go through to get my ticket for next year, and as I was leaving there was a handful of people getting in line for tomorrow.”

People lining up for hours! Well, I nevah! The outrage! Appalling! Terrible! Luckily there is a simple solution:

Yturralde says Comic-Con has a solution for 2013: “There will be no pre-registration…. All sales for the 2013 convention will be done online.”

The Yturralde in question is Mark, a longtime con board member, and certainly not a spokesman, so use the salty cellar, but really, WHY do on-site pre-reg when it is such a horrible experience?

We are creeping closer and closer to the day that San Diego badges go for market price on StubHub. Con official have avoided the truly outrageous extra fees of using a Ticketmaster thus far, but with demand so far outstripping supply, it might be just a matter of time before they go to a pure lottery system (which it already is, informally) or open market. We’d prefer not to see the latter, however, and the con has always tried to make getting a ticket possible for everyone from the teenaged fan to the millionaire.

But, as we’ve been saying for years, not everyone gets to go to the Super Bowl or Wrestlemania every year. either.

If this rumor is indeed what is planned and all of the tickets are unloaded at the same time then I feel that it will not only give everyone a fair & equal shot of getting in, but might actually make the event more enjoyable. I cannot imagine the reaction I would receive if someone asks me what I did during the con and all I can say is “Oh, you know, paid loads of money so I could miss everything while I stand in a line overnight for a very small shot of doing the same thing next year”.

I mean seriously guys. Comic-Con is awesome but if you don’t get in you don’t get it. It will suck be at least you can save up to several thousands of dollars and enjoy all of the news and coverage from home. Plus, is it really enjoyable to get up at the same time the bars get out (if you even slept at all) just to wait outside on a line for a possibility of getting tickets for the next year? Really? Dude, I’ve seen drug addicts jump through less hoops to get their fix.

But that’s what it really boils down to, right? Addiction? I mean, I am not one to talk since I vividly recall the moments in my life where the fleeting things I have been enjoying in the moment have prevented me from fully realizing what is important to my life. But there is a time when things can just go too far and we need to take a moment and check ourselves to see if it is all worth it when all is said and done. There is a thin line between “fan” and “fanatic” and I think the fine folks over at CCI are beginning to see the lengths people are going and might be putting something in place to scale it back a bit.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m jaded in my old age of 27, but I feel that this needs a quote from the good book, you know, Fight Club.

You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 5



  • I am still unsure why they decided to change things for this year. It seemed to me that last year, aside from the preview night badges selling out, the pre-registration system worked fine. And the selling out could have been easily avoided by simply not offering every PN badge for sale. I certainly didn’t hear anything like the complaints I heard (or made) this year.

    It seems like going to purely online sales is just going to lead to even more people going online at the same time and the servers crashing in an even more spectacular fashion than they did this year. I’ve said before, and I’ll continue saying it, that there must be a way to combine badge pickup and pre-registration. Even if it’s something so simple as a code which can be used online for 24 hours (or any other amount of time) to purchase a badge for next year with the same name as the badge you just picked up.

    • I think it was moved because of the number of people expected. There would have been no way to make space at the convention center if all those people showed up there.

      • Moving it to the hotel was only a tiny part of the problem though. That was more of an annoyance than anything else. The real problem was that they created artificial scarcity of tickets, which led to the huge lines, which led to people sleeping on the sidewalk in line and others being in line for 3+ hours and still not getting the badge type that they wanted. If they hadn’t limited the number of tickets sold so much, there wouldn’t have been the panic and huge crowds trying to get the limited number of tickets during the allotted time.

        And people who only had one single day badge got completely screwed under this system. As I understand it, you needed a current badge to get next year’s badge. If you only had one single day badge, you had to buy on the same day as that badge. Badge pickup started at 8, and so did pre reg. But people lined up for pre reg the night before, so if you had to pick up your badge you had a very slim chance of getting what you wanted. Unless they were letting you use the barcode confirmation instead of the actual badge. In that case the poor people with only one day just had to miss the first few hours of the only day they could attend.

        • Ydnam is right, there was no problem with getting tickets for 2011 if you were onsite for 2010. SDCC is fixing things that aren’t broken, which is NEVER a good idea.

  • I, for one, refuse to let the ticket issue dictate what I’m doing. I promised myself this year that I would not let Ballroom 20 hold two whole days of my trip hostage as I wait in line for hours before sitting in a darkened room for hours for perhaps sixty-minutes of the actors from my favorite show’s time. I had more fun with my single day passes and doings outside of the convention then I did battling the crowds and lines of the actual convention. I also enjoyed the exhibit floor more and saw things that last year I didn’t even know where available.

    Whatever the Comic-Con execs decide to do, there is a consensus that the issues need to be fixed. Not just addressed and contemplated. FIXED. Perhaps they should extend the Con a few days to help alleviate crowds & offer more people more of a chance to see the things they really want to see.

    It was evident also that this year several Con regulars didn’t get to go because of the fiasco that occurred with this year’s online sales. The Masquerade had 31 entries. THIRTY ONE! That’s sad and unfortunate. I missed the thrill of the cosplay and people walking around in full on costumes.

    Oh, and as a fan of Fight Club — loved the quote. It is true though. Sometimes we let the Con own us instead of us owning our time at the Con.

  • I wonder if they will cave in and switch to Ticketmaster. That could spark a whole other set of issues but if the demand is too great for them to handle then they will probably have better luck using a third party service that excels at selling passes with insane charges attached.

  • I got up at 4am Saturday to go get in line for SDCC 2012 passes. Main reason: because I have no faith in their online selling of passes. Their vendors could not seem to set up appropriate server bandwidth when selling the 2011 passes, and I don’t want any part of that for 2012. I figure being in line 5am-9am was less hassle than hitting ‘refresh’ for hours on end 😉

    • Exactly. I don’t mind staying in line because I can relax & enjoy the rest of my day knowing I’m set for next year. I stood in lines that long for Game of Thrones last year and still missed the panel. Lines are just a fact of life @ Comi-con.

  • There are a lot of problems with the ticketing system, and I’m not sure how to fix it. But only doing online sales doesn’t really fix the problem (as ONLINE sales worked SO WELL this last time…)

    My whole problem had to do with the math that was used. Someone said CCI was going to sell half the badges at the con and half the badges later online. This meant, conservatively, that they were going to sell 50,000 tickets at the Con. 50,000 tickets over 4 days = 12,000 tickets a day.

    Yet, they only sold 2500 a day (or so I was told). Maybe the original estimate was wrong, but only have 10K tickets available to the people who ARE ACTUALLY AT THE CON was ridiculous.

    I didn’t spend the night in line, and I got tickets. I got in line around 6:30 am on Thursday, was let into the room around 7:30, and got tickets #1409 & #1410. So, even though there were people that were outside all night long, I don’t really think it was necessary to do so to get tickets. You just needed to plan accordingly.

    That being said, only giving out the scarce number of tickets they gave, during the scare hours they gave them (8-11) was utter stupidity. I saw someone say “not everyone gets to go to the Super Bowl either.” Yeah, you’re right, but some people plan their summer vacation around this convention (*raises hand proudly*) and not getting to go would be very upsetting.

    I’m not saying I’d cry, but there would be tearing up, I’m sure.

    The online sales are horrible. It doesn’t really have anything to do with being fair, and everything to do with who can amass the most number of people to try getting tickets at the same time (which also works for getting a hotel when those are released as well.)

  • For every one that says they won’t go next year because of some issue, a dozen will buy their ticket.
    I really believe it should be a season ticket type deal. If you bought a ticket last year, then you have first option to buy one next year. They do this with sporting events all of the time;e Even things like the Indy 500.

  • @ Autograph Hound Then those who *can* attend by virtue of being a previous ticketholder are going to eventually be a REALLY old group someday (LOL!) with no new blood allowed to crack into the attendance.

    I went three years in a row and then missed one year due to uncontrollable circumstances….so should that give me some special advantage? Doubt it.

  • I have been a sci/fi fan since I could read. My daughter was hired to play one of the new characters & to walk around the Comic-Con floors during the show. It’s a family event, but for me it has been out of my reach.
    For more than five years I have battled illness that prevented me from attending. Finally, when it was possible.to be there this year, I was unable to find tickets at a reasonable rate. I went on-line in hopes of securing something for next year. Alas, nothing but crazy gibberish that tells me nothing and leads me nowhere.
    I just wanted access to purchase tickets for 2013, but no such thing seems possible. I honestly have never seen such a jammed up mess involving an multi-day event. Not even professional sports have this kind of man-made log jam. What should be a first come first served ticket sale, with a first right of refusal allotment for repeat attendees, has become a bizarre form of nepotism.
    Sadly, as it stands it appears that I shall never attend Comic-Con.

    • That’s because tickets for 2013 aren’t on sale yet. You can expect them to go on sale later this year. The ONLY place to buy tickets is the CCI website.

  • hey guys I’m italian and I would love to go to San Diego Comic Con in 2013. How do I book the ticket? please help : )

  • Pretty freaking mad! We missed comic con this year and now we can’t register for it for 2013! Totally bogus.

  • What they need to do is change to a bigger venue altogether, or make multiple venues around the area that can take up the slack. It’s BS that so many people miss the event on account that they didn’t go the year before.
    Also, they should either extend preview day into a 2 day event -One badge for day 1 and one for day 2- or phase it out altogether – what’s the point if you can never get in.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the downside of the whole “It’s cool to be a Nerd” era! smh

  • This just doesn’t seem fair! I actually LIVE in San Diego and have never been able to get a freakin’ ticket to this event! I was intent on going this year (2012) but if you didn’t jump at the moment they were available you’re way too late.

    So my plan was to make a serious effort to get the jump on 2013 and then I see this crazy new policy that favors the incumbents and makes it sound like I’ll be out of luck for 2013. How do you break this cycle? Is CCI only looking for repeat customers? Are the people that have no intention of attending 2013 still going to buy their 3 allotted tickets and just scalp them for profit? This system has many flaws but for someone who has always planned on attending but never planned a year in advance (until now), this new beaurocracy is getting a bit out of hand. I demand a recount!

    (That said, I’m willing to forgive all if I can get a freakin’ ticket!!!!)

    • If you scalp, you will get caught and you will get banned for life. They have security measures in place. After August, there will be another online sale for the rest of us. All you can do is try!

  • Hi,
    My kids and I have wanted to attend comic-con for years, and have always been unable to get tickets, not having the benefit of currently living in San Diego. So, this year, I thought I’d try even earlier to get a jump on buying tickets for 2013, only to find out that under this new and completely UNFAIR system, I probably don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting tickets for my family for next year. NEXT YEAR….it is insane that you should try to plan something a year in advance, and still be prevented from making it happen. If comic-con has grown to have such epic popularity, why not enlarge the venues, lengthen the dates, anything to accommodate the growing amounts of people who want to participate. Wouldn’t that make more money for all of the vendors and for the CCI folks? It seems patently unfair that I can’t have a shot at getting tickets for next years event, just cause I was already screwed out of tickets for this years event. I am starting to feel like the 99%. Is it going to be time for an OCCUPY COMIC-CON movement next year. I mean, seriously…helps us out CCI!!!

  • I really don’t like this change. I think that it will turn into a NFL type thing. I haven’t been able to go, and I’m trying to make plans to go in 2013, mostly as a surprise for my boyfriend, but if the passes are going to be sold out by September, what’s the point? :/

  • Hey guys this was my first year working security for comic con and I would love to attend the event along with my family. how could I get passes for next year?

    • We will do the best we can at bringing you all of the available information needed to make this happen for you.

      Just remember the golden rule: you have to NEED to want it more than other people. By that I mean be on top of things.

  • Yipes! This previous-attendee-favoring system sounds ominous…
    I’ve wanted to attend SDCC for -years-, but, well, finances have always been a problem. Thank goodness for the “no reselling” policy. And hopefully the servers can handle the stress during the general public sale… 2013 PAX Prime’s registration was a fiasco; so this must be a thousand times worse, lol.
    When do the tickets usually go up? Just in a general sense, I mean. I’ve heard everything from October to February.
    Thanks for the article!

  • I attended the 2012 Comic Con, and it is stupid to offer the tickets to those who attended this years comic con. they should give everyone a chance, ill be attending next years as well… so good luck to all who didn’t attend this year… best advice check the website everyday, which is what i did, and was able to go to the 2012 comic con…

  • Hoping someone can clarify this for me: I’m hoping to get two tickets to SDCC but it says each ticket has to be assigned a Member ID. It’s possible my friend will be out of the country and if that happens to be the case, is the ticket only valid specifically for him? Or is it a non-issue to transfer it to someone else?

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