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.



  1. Crikey! I’m glad that I didn’t even try. I’m still in two minds if I’m going to bother this year. There are much better cons out there, to be honest. SDCC is just ridiculously over-hyped!

  2. Whoops, I forgot this was even happening. I’d better make sure I leap on the next opportunity. I guess. Along the way I somehow lost my enthusiasm for going at all and spent my ticket money on Lush bath bombs. Gotta work on drumming back up that sense of “last ten seconds of the eBay auction” panic again.

    I mean, it’s worth going to SDCC at least once, right…?

  3. Carol — DEFINITELY. I went 3 years ago as my ‘well, i need to go at least once’ moment, and haven’t missed since. It is a great time in a great city and totally worth the hassle.

  4. Congratulations on those few, those happy few, those band of Nerds who were the fortunate thousand who scored their SDCC ’11 passes today— and good luck to the disappointed multitude who’ll try yet again in January…

    I wonder how many of that 51,658 attempts were from “virgins” trying for their first taste of SDCC— would-be first-time attendees fallen to the hype (from friends who have attended, from the yearly July deluge of coverage, from the drumbeat touting of SOLD! OUT!! PASSES!!! from various Comics sites)— and so become each other’s worst competition for those very passes?

  5. Why don’t they just setup an octagon, throw the passes in there, and let natural selection run its course. Then I may stand a chance…