TicketLeap, the company tasked with handling the onslaught of ticket requests for San Diego, has analysis of how it went. With numbers.
What happens when 51,658 people try to buy 1,000 Comic-Con tickets all at once? TicketLeap’s system stumbled briefly but then recovered to fulfill all the orders successfully. We had eight super powered servers on our Amazon service ready for you, but you brought your friends and your friends’ friends. In the first minute, 529 tickets were sold successfully. The people that came in afterward swamped the servers and caused a 502 “Bad Gateway” error message to appear. After two minutes, our system’s auto scaling kicked in and doubled the number of servers (Thanks Amazon!). Eight minutes later (at 8:10 a.m. PST), the site was responding normally but the remaining tickets were still on hold. Any remaining tickets at that point were on hold status until our system released them at 8:30 a.m. PST, those tickets were released back into inventory and were sold without problems until all 1,000 tickets were sold out.
The takeaway? We underestimated the demand but we confirmed that the system can handle the demand with the right number of servers allocated. In more technical terms, there were over half a million page requests in the first hour, with nearly 844 page requests per second at the peak. The reason we did a test was to estimate the load so we’re ready for the full on-sale date. Thank you for helping us work this out. I know some of you left disappointed, but you’ll get another crack at tickets when there are a lot more available.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.