Saturday's online sale for admission to this year's Comic-Con left fans both jubilant and frustrated, as all four-day and single-day badges sold out in under two hours.
The online purchase process began at 9 a.m. and within minutes many would-be purchasers were informed of the grim news: the "online waiting room has reached capacity and it is unlikely that badges are still available."
Within less than an hour, all of the four-day badges for the July convention were gone.
Last year, all tickets to the pop culture extravaganza sold out in a record one hour and 20 minutes. Saturday's sellout took roughly one hour and 40 minutes. Organizers, while they would like to accommodate more fans, have said they long ago outgrew the capacity of the city's downtown convention center.
The city has approved an expansion of the center, but construction cannot start until it is approved by the California Coastal Commission. The $520 million project also faces legal hurdles. The city is awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit it filed to confirm whether the hotel room surcharge approved to finance the expansion is legal. A hearing is scheduled for later this month.
In the meantime, Comic-Con International has committed to staying in San Diego through 2016, despite being heavily wooed by other cities. A 2008 survey quantified the economic impact of the four-day event, which attracts some 130,000 attendees, although many of them locals. The survey concluded that spending on lodging, meals, transportation and other related items totaled $67.8 million, which includes $25 million rung up by conventioneers occupying nearly 31,000 hotel rooms.
While no other opportunities for obtaining a badge to Comic-Con have been scheduled, organizers offer some hope. For those who did not make it into the online waiting room Saturday morning, they were told to "check our website frequently or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for important badge resale announcements later this year."
Ugh I'm so mad I wasn't even able to get any tickets let alone getting inside the waiting room, but I still haven't lost hope yet, pretty much crossing my fingers for the resale!