IGN Theater Seating Issues

New York Comic Con

Unlike San Diego Comic Con, NYCC offers a few different “VIP” ticket packages. The most expensive package was the “Ultimate Access Package” which sets you back $450. Why might someone spend that much? Well, the package obviously comes with some perks and the most important one in my opinion is this: “Guaranteed premium seating for all events in the IGN Theater.” This means unlike the rest of us, these ticket holders can pretty much walk in and have a seat in the first nine rows. Pretty sweet right? I mean, should be easy to “cash in.” Wrong.

The first nine rows were clearly marked “VIP” but most people, especially by the end of the day, didn’t really care or notice these signs. The last two panels of the day on Saturday were huge. They were “The Walking Dead” and “The Avengers.” If I were a VIP I wouldn’t waste my time spending all day in there. I knew that by the time 5pm rolled around, those people would be showing up and something bad was going to happen. I was right. There were a few times where people were told to move and for whatever reason wouldn’t. I think I heard one guy claim he lost his badge. Really? Then this person should’ve been removed just for that! These people paid $450 for those seats and shouldn’t have to ask anyone to move and the staff should’ve been doing a better job of checking the badges. There was no badge checking as people sat down, the area wasn’t roped off or anything. That was a huge fail. If you’re going to offer premium seating then someone should be checking badges. I almost felt bad for this young staff member who was clearly trying to check badges but for every person he was able to stop, two or three people would pass him. The kid looked pretty young too. I know this might sound dramatic but when it comes to certain panels and having that awesome seat, an adult should be the one trying to stop “normal” badge holders from sitting in the VIP section. People can get mean and annoyed very quickly during a Con. We all remember the “incident” at San Diego Comic Con back in 2010 right?

Of course this could all be avoided if Con’s just did away with special packages but I don’t see that happening. While SDCC doesn’t, I know that Wizard World offers a few different celebrity packages and those normally come with special seating for panels as well. I know, it’s hard to compare NYCC/SDCC to Wizard World because of the size and the quality of the events but I didn’t see any VIP issues as far as the seating when when I attended Philly.

Did any of you run into seating issues this weekend at New York Comic Con? Where you a VIP who had problems finding a seat because of non-VIP badge holders? Let us know in the comments or send us an email!

2 comments

  • Now I knew it was a long shot to sit in the reserved seats, but I asked a volunteer if I could sit there with a press pass and he said “yes”. So I sit there, call Mario over to sit with me. Then 5-10 mins later another volunteer tells us we can’t sit there! Normally I wouldn’t care, but I just gave up my awesome FIRST row seats (in front of the left screen) to sit more in the middle after I was TOLD I could sit there with press pass. I didn’t make a scene or argue, but I sure didn’t leave without questioning at and telling them they should get their story straight (politely of course, I mean it’s not his fault someone else told me the wrong information). So we just left. I was upset and it was a total buzz kill for the day.

    What actually made me a little mad was that later I see a picture of the dog dressed as Captain America in the first row reserved seating and recognized two guys sitting behind the dog — they were also told to leave by the same person who told us we could no longer sit there!!!!! No one kicked them out!

    Whatever, it’s done and overwith and I’m over it.

    But if you are going to have volunteers they 1.) need to all have the same information; and 2.) if you are going to kick someone out of any type “reserved” seating, then you need to make sure they all leave — like me, and the other people who listened!!

    Also, if there is going to be reserved seating for anyone besides the disabled (ie: studio and paid for gauranteed seating), then the seats should be roped off. Make it like a concert, you can’t walk through the area without showing your special pass or getting a hand stamped to show you were already there.

  • i remember the guy with the lost badge issue. i was three rows behind VIP in the middle area. i agree if these people paid that much for a GUARANTEED seat they need to check badges, so that they can sit. how come he just magically lost his badge he had been sitting there for a few hours. if you lost a badge its like losing cash you are SOL. another thing is the volunteers, they were teenagers that shouldnt be their job. they need Adults to run the badge checks. the poor girl volunteer couldnt get a word in edge wise. luckily they are actually screening their volunteers and paying them this time around. hopefully for the new walking dead panel and firefly panel they fix this issue.

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