The good news is that Denver Comic Con has sold out for its Saturday access, in the sense that the numbers (50,000) are here. The bad news is that things are breaking down pretty rapidly into impossible access when it comes to getting to panels on time or getting onto the floor in a reasonable time-frame. The key problems are a single access point to the entire con for badge pick up and those who already have their badges, creating a half mile line around two blocks averaging anything from 30 minutes to an hour or more just to get into the convention center. Once inside, there is freedom of movement unless you want access to the main attraction of the con: the floor. The single access point to the floor, which I mentioned in my earlier coverage (Then and Now) indeed blew up into a major problem. With turnstiles admitting only three people at a time and a baggage check being conducted at those turnstiles only a few feet from the floor entrance, the line for entry to the floor took on the entire length of the 500 foot narrow hallway leading to the floor averaging another 30 minutes or more for floor access.
To be clear, none of these problems were caused by the space used by the con- the space is vast. It’s due to the puzzling decision to only use one set of doors of six on the ground level (the rest are guarded and unused) to admit folks to the con, even badge-holders, and then by the choice to use only on access point to the floor upstairs, when another, larger entrance is also available but not being used. The con has been bottle-necked by its design for access in a surprising way. There’s also the added issue that people waiting outside for access to the con are being stopped and held, unmoving, for 15 minute periods before being allowed to move forward, perhaps for fire safety reasons, in which case, too many passes were sold for safety and that should have been reconsidered.