Home Culture SD11: Preview Night 2011 already sold out

SD11: Preview Night 2011 already sold out


The North County Times reports that 15,000 tickets for Preview Night 2011 sold out by 3 pm on the Sunday of this year’s con. Is this a convention or a U2 concert??? The sellout left some people sad and frustrated, just like they will be next year:

Bill Harris of San Diego, who’s been going to Comic-Con since the 1970s, was walking the huge expo hall on Friday when he noticed the queue.

On Saturday, he bought tickets for himself and some family and friends.

On Sunday, he got in line at 2 p.m. to buy a ticket for his adult daughter and arrived at the window a little after 3 p.m., moments after tickets sold out.

“I was shocked at first and bummed out,” Harris said. “I had to call my daughter and tell her she didn’t get Preview Night. It was not a parent’s favorite moment.”

The newest era of Comic-Con has begun.

  1. Well, if he is that concerned about his daughter not getting to go to Preview Night, he can always give her his ticket… disappointed daughter dilemma averted! You’re welcome, Mr Harris.

  2. While at the show this year, my pal and I decided Saturady to prereg for next year only becuase it saves a few bucks and I didn’t want to have to monitor sales of 2011 passes all fall. We were surprised to find a line but it moved quickly. Little did I know I would have been even more shocked the ’11 preview night would have been sold out upon my return home the day the con ended!

    So this is the future of Comic-con: You will line up to obtain your passes the day the show begins and upon entry, drop right into another line to purchase passes for the next year’s event before you even attend your first panel!

  3. Wow. I haven’t been to SDCC since ’07, but I get the sense that a lot of what I used to like about the show – the ability to check out a bunch of different panels on a variety of different subjects in the same day – isn’t really feasible anymore. I imagine you’d have to pick one or two per day and build your trip around those.

  4. I was able to attend many panels on Friday: Stargate Universe, Caprica, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, The Joss Whedon Experience, and True Blood. On Saturday, I saw: Quick Draw, Cartoon Voices I, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Nikita, Human Target, and Mythbusters.

  5. WOW… apparently the only way to get tickets for Comic Con is to go the year before. That’s kinda fucked up.

    I’ve been to preview night every year I attended the convention. I’ll never buy tickets that lock me out of attending preview night. Looks like I’m never going to Comic Con again. Oh well.

  6. @Archie: Correct me if i am wrong, but doesn’t much of that list include a lot of Ballroom 20 camping? (To which I find nothing wrong with) If you have several interested panels that all fall in the same room, it’s a beautiful situation.

    My own personal experience though falls closer to Kevin’s description. I can highlight a punch of panels throughout the day; but floor activity and the que time for any one of those panels then has to be taken into consideration.

    It’s like playing chess, dominoes, and tetris all at the same time. Through all the aggravation though, I love it.

    WIth the additional annexes added on this year, it felt like some of the crowding tension had been eased. This early sell out does not bring me hope that Con will stay in SD come contract renewal.

    That said, I also have faith that we’ll see more +Preview passes added a little further down the road as we start the march towards ’11

  7. What?! That’s crazy. They are probably saving a bunch for the online website registration. (At least I hope that’s what they’re doing.)

    I was going to buy my ticket for next year as soon as they went on sale, but if there’s no preview night I might change my mind.

  8. Not really surprising considering…


    Until Preview night passes cost more, they will sell out.

  9. They should just make Wednesday a regular con day and Tuesday preview night! That would solve alot of issues! Right??

  10. I’ll just hope my friend and I can get those 4 day regular passes come August when they go on sale.

    Preview Night in the end is not an essential thing, but we’ll see what the SDCC people decide to do next.

  11. I, too, was so surprised and bummed out about the preview night sitch. I just figured it’s a somewhat stupid move to sell ALL of the preview night tix only at the show. Pretty sad that this will set a pattern for future years that only those people already at the show will be able to get preview night tix. Would have been better to offer half or something on pre-sale at convention center, then the rest to first come business online…..satisfies exclusivity at show and fair to competing online sales. Just my two cents as a hopeful attendee for ’11.

  12. The demographic is definitely changing at Comic-con. An example is, the panels that “Archie” attended. How many of those really relate to comics? (as in Comic-con)
    I know there has been a shift for years, but this year I feel like it really hit home. I know a lot of professionals and retailers were talking about not returning, and instead attending smaller more comic specific conventions (Wondercon!) This convention will eventually collapse under it’s own bloated weight. Hotels are way overpriced, restaurants are way too full, and the convention center is way too crowded. It just ain’t fun anymore…sigh!!!

  13. Gotta admit, I was myself surprised at this developement… WOW. Didn’t know that the Max. Capacity of the Exhibit Floor without all the attendee-siphoning Hall H and upstairs Rooms to be 15K; seems such a small number given the crowds I saw for Weds this year.

    And put me down for Feb 11th for The Beat’s
    next “When will SDCC ’11 Sell Out of ALL its passes?” contest.

  14. I’d disagree with @Blackeye that it’s not fun anymore, I had a blast (though it was my first Con). I thought the mix was just about right. Granted, I used the rush of others to get free swag on preview night as a time to get signatures and sketches from the creators I like, but other than sacrificing a few panels, I got to do and see everything I wanted and more, both on the comics side and the “other stuff” side.

  15. What is Preview night for anymore? Swag. People are lining up to get tickets so they can be the first to get free or exclusive stuff. No wonder they were sold out so early.

  16. For all of those complaining that the Con has lost all of it’s focus on comics, guess what, the panels are still there. SDCC has over 400 panels during the course of the convention, more than double any other con. AND you know what, nearly all of them are comic book related. Stay on the right side of the Convention center and you’ll still see that the old Con is still there utilizing the same floor space that it had 15 years ago. I’ve been going for 20 years and those old vendors and the same Comic Con feel is still there on the right side of the Hall. And you know what it’s very manageable to walk around. No one’s forcing people to go to the studio and video game side. It’s annoying looking at all of these panel reports from movie and tv web sites and seeing these comments like, “what about the comic books?” They’re movie and tv web sites. Of course that’s what they’re going to be talking about. If you want comic book news go to the sites covering comic books.

    Pheww, and now that I’ve got that off my chest. I actually have a blast waiting in line. Mainly because you can converse and talk to interesting people who have a passion for the same thing you have. And now that attendees really are coming from all over the world, it’s great to hear about their perception of Comic Con. A group of kids from Manchester, England told me that the Con has become sort of a Mecca for a lot of kids there. There are tons of them who are trying to save money so they could experience it for the first time. There’s nowhere else in this world where this kind of melting pot of Pop culture exists. THAT’S why I’VE embraced what Comic Con has become. It’s unique, and that’s why it’s become popular. And it all started from a love of comic books. Everything in this world has to evolve in some fashion, if it doesn’t it ends up like record stores, Discotheques, and Mervyns.

  17. roypar—

    AMEN. Preach it, brother!

    Spotlight panels, Mark Evanier’s programming track, those Comic Arts Conference presentations are always there to give me nutritional ‘Comics’ sustenance— even if I indulge in the junk food of the Hall H and
    Ballroom 20 Film/TV programs…

    Those SDCC grapes can sure be sweet for those of us who choose to go to the Con, eh?

  18. roypar

    You are my new hero!!! Bravo to you, my friend, for placing and emphasizing that the ‘Con will continue to have balance. Everything has to evolve, and if the ‘Con didnt have the appeal it has, it wouldnt have evolved either. This institution will continue to grow and prosper as long as they maintain that balance of comics and media that have made it the mecca of pop culture. If veteran attendees, men and women who have been going to the ‘Con for over 10 years plus not only dont have a problem with the changes but praising them, then why should those of us who have only attended a handful of ‘Cons have a problem.

    I, personally, love the ambience that you experience at the Con. Nothing can describe the feeling once you enter the Sail Pavilion to get your pass and head towards the exit taking you near Ballroom 6..I love it…

    As for the Preview Night passes, though they have sold out the ones they had at the Con, I dont believe they have sold out completely. Remember, CCI staff are comic fans as well, so they arent going to just make preview night sales available ONLY to those in attendance. Many folks have had difficulties that prevented them from attending. That would be penalizing and ostracizing them as fellow fans. I dont think Preview Night is SOLD OUT. The sales have only just begun, so keep your eyes open and credit cards ready. I will be at the Con next year and I hope to see all of you there…

    Oh and by the way…The Con will not be moving, understand that and digest it. When tradition is successful, dont change the formula.

    L.A., Anaheim and Vegas: sorry guys, you already have your claims to fame and are WAY TOO DISTRACTING…Let us have our Con and enjoy your already thriving economy….

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