Updated at 10:27 p.m. March 25, 2012
After saying for weeks that Comic-Con was sold out, the pop culture mega-event has announced that fans still have a chance at tickets.
On Sunday, the La Mesa-based nonprofit behind the convention conceded that a March 3 badge sale—a key step to attending the annual San Diego event—“did not proceed as we had hoped.”
An email to potentially tens of thousands of people said:
All of us at Comic-Con have been working on trying to make registration as stress free as possible, even delaying badge sales to accommodate new and updated information. Obviously we still had issues that resulted in some people not being able to purchase the number of badges they had hoped. For those who missed an opportunity to purchase a badge due to the email link delay, we will have a very special second chance badge resale of returned and refunded badges!
Comic-Con second chance resale will be open only to those who had a valid and confirmed Member ID as of February 29th, 2012. Additionally, anyone who has already purchased a 4-day badge (with or without Preview Night) or a Saturday badge will not be allowed to participate in this resale. This special badge resale is only for those who missed a chance at purchasing a badge, not those who wish to upgrade or change their badge selections.
Harsh criticism followed the March 3 sale, however, with blog posts and message boards lighting up over glitches preventing people from ordering badges.
“They came, they saw, they went home in tears,” said The Mary Sue, a New York-based guide to girl geek culture. “I’m talking of course of all those who tried to get San Diego Comic-Con ... tickets yesterday. New policies were implemented this year to make the process go smoother and well, it’s no surprise it didn’t. Tickets for the pop-culture convention sold out in under an hour (a new record) and lots of people were left with nothing, thanks to technical difficulties.”
Comic-Con said its “special second chance resale” is only for those who did not already have the option to purchase all four days—July 12-15. Four-day ticket prices for adults are $175, the U-T has reported. A single-day badge is $40 for all but Sunday, which is priced at $23.
The resale will begin at 8 a.m. Pacific time March 27, Comic-Con said in its Sunday email:
“There will be no link provided on our website or any social media sites to access the sale directly. Comic-Con cannot, however, stop people from posting this link if they receive this email. Posting this link will only decrease your own chances of obtaining a badge by encouraging people to access the waiting room even though they do not have a qualifying Member ID.”
In a 715-word email sent about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Comic-Con said more single-day badges are available than four-day badges.
“Although we would like to accommodate everyone who wants to attend, Comic-Con in no way guarantees that you will be able to obtain your desired badge category during this resale,” the note said.
Comic-Con said it also will sell additional returned badges sometime after the refund deadline date of May 15.
The day after the original sale, U-T San Diego reported: “Although the process proceeded relatively smoothly compared to last year’s multiple efforts at online sales, many Comic-Con fans lost precious time when the online link that organizers sent out by email was not clickable. To make the process work, purchasers had to copy and paste the link into their Internet browsers.”
The U-T quoted one person on Twitter as saying: “Thanks for that email link. Can’t believe I’m not going because you guys can’t operate your business correctly.”
Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer was quoted by the U-T as saying: “It was another situation with a link being overwhelmed. Sadly, that didn’t show up in all our testing.”
On the outskirts of London, blogger Rich Johnston posted the news on BleedingCool.com: “For some [Tuesday] is New Comics Day. For some lucky people, it will be New Comic Con Tickets Day. … The time is 8am on the West Coast. 11am on the East Coast. 4pm in Britain. If you want to have a chance to get in, you will need to log on with your Member ID and join the queue within seconds. Set your alarm. Set all you alarms. Good luck.”