Waiting Room

SDCC Badges…May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor

Are you sitting in the waiting room trying to get tickets for SDCC 2014?  Comic Con badges are fast becoming the most elusive ticket around. 

New this year–you get into the waiting room and then you are randomly assigned a number.  You can wait for hours or you might wait for minutes.  Either way, no one is guaranteed a badge.

What this means is that the San Diego Convention Center absolutely needs to expand.  As a San Diego native, the expansion is the only major construction project I support.  Screw the Chargers stadium. We need more room for SDCC.  The folks at SDCC also need to start thinking outside the box…and outside the Convention Center.  Frankly, if they utilized the surrounding hotels and the Gaslamp more, they could have a world class venue.  And why not transfer Hall H activities to Petco Park? Think about it–what a great way to increase the size of the venue and stop the awful lines.  Why not require tickets to the big panels…no charge, just pre-registered, so that people can do more than just spend their time in line.  Less time in line means more people out spending their money, after all.

But these are just random musings.  What do I know?

Good luck to the people in the Waiting Room this morning.  As they say in Hunger Games, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Is San Diego Comic Con the New Hunger Games?

Less than ten years ago I bought four-day badges for SDCC with no trouble.  There was no line overnight, no hunkering down in front of every wi-fi enabled device waiting for the button to turn green.  I just bought badges.  In fact, I bought a 4-day badge for my adopted grandmother just so she could see what SDCC was all about.  That year, the Exhibit Hall was not crowded.  SyFy (or, as it was known back then, Sci-Fi) had a huge blobby looking thing in the middle of the floor, and there were huge areas dedicated to kids and adults playing Pokémon and D&D. 

Nowadays, you’re lucky to be able to walk on the floor of the Exhibit Hall.

Back in 2011 I spent the night from Preview Night until 8am Thursday morning to buy badges for 2012.  It was worth it.  The people who showed up at 6am found themselves at the back of a 2 mile long line.  I got there at 11pm and was about a hundred people back from the front of the line.  I was with a guy named Tony who was from Florida.  He kept drinking Vodka from a water bottle, and at 3am he was infuriated that all of the liquor stores were closed.  And then there was the Ninja from Alaska.  He kept telling us he was half Chinese, and Tony and I didn’t believe him until the sun came up and we saw that he was in fact half-Chinese.  It remains one of my favorite Comic Con memories.  But that stopped after 2011. 

Let’s face it, people, the times, they are a changing.

For 2014 badge sales, we know a few things so far.  Prices have increased, 4-day badges no longer exist, and you can buy badges for three other people.  Now there is going to  be a lottery system once you arrive in the Waiting Room.  (For those of you not in the SDCC know, the Waiting Room is like something from “The Matrix” where a bunch of us geeks and nerds wait patiently for our turn to buy badges)

So this lottery system…is anyone else getting a Hunger Games vibe?  “I’m here, I’m in! …oh damn, my number is too high.”

For all of you anticipating the SDCC Badge Purchase Day, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”