San Diego Comic-Con International: No more four-day badges for 2014

Jan. 10, 2014 | 1:56 p.m.

Derek Bond as the Joker and Melanie Watson as Catwoman in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Angie Rodriguez (dressed as Two Face from Batman) leads Jonathon Antone (dressed as Scarecrow from Batman) by a rope necklace in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Holly and Will Blagg of Apple Valley, Calif., in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Zombie Dino attacks Christina Peredia (dressed as Rogue) in front of the San Diego Convention Center on the second full day of Comic-Con. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Briana Roecks of Los Angeles is one of the many people who attended Comic-Con in costume. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Father and son Dave and Jeff Teal of San Diego. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Stephan and Heather Reese of South Pasadena. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Kiesi Campbell, from left, Agnela Darbellay of San Francisco, Karli Campbell, April Campbell and Karol Campbell. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Two of the many people who attended Comic-Con in costume. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Christopher Meehan, 13, left, Patrick Meehan, Ryan Meehan, 12, and Charlott Meehan, 8.(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Garrett Henry of Semi Valley and John Plocharczyle. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Brittany Fonseca, right, and Mae Twiggs of Matika, Calif. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Grant Thompson and Suki Berry from San Diego. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Julia Welden, left, and Alison Chalker of Mountain View, Calif. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Arnette Garcia and Alex Lechuga of El Paso, Texas . (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Stephanie Flynn of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

Comic-Con International is making some changes in its registration and ticketing process for its 2014 San Diego expo, including eliminating the extremely popular four-day badges.

Only single-day badges will be sold for this year’s convention, which runs July 24-27 at San Diego’s waterfront convention center.

People who want to attend Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday will have to purchase a badge for each day, Comic-Con explained on its website. Only those who purchase badges for all four days will be eligible to buy a badge for Wednesday’s Preview Night, which is not a stand-alone badge option. Attendees who purchase badges for all four days will be able to consolidate them into one four-day badge onsite.

Comic-Con International is implementing additional changes to its much-maligned registration system, which is notorious for glitches and system crashes, including a new pre-registration option for those who attended in 2013 and have a valid member ID. (In 2015, Comic-Con will also require attendees to retain their physical badges and badge codes from 2014 in order to pre-register.)

Other changes include a shopping cart feature, single-session purchasing for multiple guests, landing page validation to keep ineligible registrants out of the queue and improved site performance due to load-testing, according to Comic-Con’s official blog.

Dates for preregistration have yet to be announced but are expected to occur this month. Those who are eligible to preregister will be notified via email at least 48 hours prior to the sale. Open online registration for the general public, as well as for professionals, exhibitors, volunteers, staff and press, will occur at a later date.

Ticket prices have increased for 2014, with single-day badges for adults costing $35 for Preview Night, $45 for Thursday-Saturday badges (up from $42 in 2013) and $30 for Sunday (up from $24). People who attend all four days and Preview Night this year will pay $200; last year’s four-day badge with Preview Night cost $175. Minors age 13-17, seniors and U.S. military pay discounted prices. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

The annual pop culture expo typically draws some 130,000 people to San Diego’s Gaslamp District each year, a massive convergence of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, video game, comics and other genre entertainment enthusiasts and professionals. The behemoth event includes panels, screenings, portfolio reviews and a masquerade, and has become the site of many major Hollywood announcements and first glimpses of film footage as well as a retail mecca.

Click through the images in the gallery above for a look at some of the costumed attendees who turned up for the event last year.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+


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10 Responses to San Diego Comic-Con International: No more four-day badges for 2014

  1. John Allen Small says:

    In 2006 I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Comic-Con as a speaker for one of the event forums. The four-day badges were a boon – both in terms of cost and simplicity – for my wife and kids, who accompanied me on the trip. I'm sorry to see the four-day badges go; I don't know that I understand the rational behind this decision, especially if the badges were as "extremely popular" as the article states (and based on personal experience I have no doubt that they were). I can't imagine that this will be a very popular decision.

    • Mike Bergman says:

      I think that you are right that this will not be a popular decision initially. However, last year when I bought my tickets, they had run out of four day passes but I was still able to buy the four days individually and the result was the same. The only difference was that I could not go to the Preview Night which I hadn't gone to in the previous two years so it wasn't that big a deal.
      I actually like the new interface as it will make it much easier to purchase the tickets for myself and my family on the same page and get through the process a lot faster. I expect the line waiting will be a lot faster as well.

  2. sdf says:

    The Con is being run by over-promoted amateurs who have made it clear that they view repeat customers as a problem. It used to be that we would attend the Con as a family. My nephew and I would go the CCG game tournaments and my brother and I would sit in Hall H watching Trailer Park. We'd walk the floor and get pictures added to portfolio books we'd bought. We saw Gaiman and Butcher and Schwarzenegger and all 4 hobbits, Iron man, Sauron, … It was an annual affair for us.

    We haven't been able to attend the Con as a family for the last two years. It's not just that crowds that is making it less attractive to us. It's that you can't predict if you will get a badge and you absolutely can't count on more than one of you getting a badge.

    There are other Cons, in smaller and larger venues, run by professionals who get the concept that you want people to come back year after year and you want to make it possible for them to go *as a group*. Sitting in Hall H by yourself because no one you know could get a ticket isn't nearly as much fun as attending Con with a best friend or a significant other or that nephew who just turned 10 and saw Avengers. Selling four-day packages or "group packages" made a lot more sense than this "let's give every one a 1-day pass for some random day without telling them what the schedule will be, what day will host what author or what movie studio or giving them any idea whether they want a Thursday or a Friday or a Saturday or Sunday pass"

    Scalping isn't the major problem faced by the Con. Seriously. It's management. Fire the lot of them.

  3. Erika pereda says:

    I want to go

  4. slowdream101 says:

    I really don't care.

  5. Gary says:

    If prices keep increasing the way it has, I would like to see CCI give a full budget disclosure of how the money is being used and spent. It's been a little alarming how attending all days has jumped from around $45 in 2003 to $200 in 2014.

    • Amanda says:

      Besides good old fashioned inflation, it's supply and demand. The convention has gained massive popularity in the past few years. It's not just "nerds" who want to go now. I remember I used to say the words "Comic Con" and people would just look at me with a blank stare… now most people either know what I'm talking about or at least have a general idea of what it is.

    • Absynthe says:

      The amateurs are paying themselves a SALARY, in case you hadn't noticed. They've become money-grubbing, while claiming it's nonprofit. I've no idea how it works, but it was all volunteers before Hollyweird moved in. Now it's ALL about the money! I can count Security on ONE HAND at night for the Dealer's floor, don't get me started. Someone's always targeted, robbed every year of thousands of dollars worth of original art. Now, they've moved the comic creators to the side, now hacking them to pieces, attempting to get rid of their tables completely.

  6. MonkeyGirl says:

    In CC defense I have to think that the need for massive security and the costs involved as well as more space, and simply the need for more workers (cleaning crew, floor managers, etc.) MUST have increased massively. I feel certain that when you look at those numbers it's all not all about the profit.

  7. Janie heuck says:

    Help!! Need 4 badges for thurs, fri and sat for my daughters 16th birthday!!!

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