It seems that Comic-Con is getting its Slamdance, but it’s a nerdlebrity Slamdance. Zachary Levi, best known as the star of Chuck but a smart entrepreneur in his own right, has been putting on Nerd HQ for several years—it’s an alternate track of entertainment programming with separate tickets for each event and autographing session, making it easier to get into just the session you want. Although last year, they melted down the phone lines, too.

This year, they are getting a bigger venue…MUCH bigger. PetCo Park bigger.

The lineup and tickets will soon be available here.

And San Diego is getting closer and closer and closer…

Zachary Levi and The Nerd Machine, a multimedia company that brings the best of apparel, accessories, and both long and short form video content to its global clientele, announced today that Nerd HQ will return to San Diego July 18th-21st in a new location, Petco Park (100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101), home of the San Diego Padres. 
Over the last three years, Nerd HQ has continually expanded and given fans a unique experience while in San Diego for the international comic book and entertainment festival.  This year Nerd HQ will again provide fans with a home base where they can experience cutting edge technology and gaming showcases, exciting autograph signings, cornerstone events and exclusive parties, including Levi’s annual NERD Party.
“With the move to Petco Park, we can bring fans an even bigger, more dynamic experience during Nerd HQ 2013.” said Zachary Levi, Founder of The Nerd Machine.  “Moving to the ballpark is a major step in the growth of Nerd HQ and will allow us to expand our tradition of offering exclusive access to new games, technology, and the opportunity for intimate conversations with some of the Hollywood’s most influential celebrities and creatives.”
Returning this year is the very popular philanthropic panel series, “Conversations for a Cause” which will stream through The Nerd Machine YouTube page, NerdMachineTV. Last year’s panels raised $140,000 for Operation Smile and consisted of some of the most talked about films, television shows and video games, including: “Chuck,” “Doctor Who,” “Grimm,” “NTSF,” “Robot Chicken,” “The Man with the Iron Fist,” “Expendables 2,” “Tomb Raider” and “Twilight.” Panelists included many of today’s top actors, actresses and film and game makers including Ashley Greene, Guillermo del Toro, Jason Ritter, Jared Padalecki, Joss Whedon, Kellan Lutz, Lucy Liu, Nathan Fillion, RZA, Seth Green, Stan Lee, Terry Crews, and Zachary Levi, among many others. This year’s panels, which will be announced in the coming days, are sure to bring fun surprises and intriguing discussions. Individual tickets will sell for $22, with proceeds benefiting Operation Smile.


  1. Gee and a Comic Con rep supposedly told the crowd at the feed back panel last year that Petco was too exposed to the sun and hot to move the Hall H stuff there. It appears that Nerd Machine finds that snack bars, water fountains and covered promenades will cover this issue. I try to avoid criticizing Comic Con organizers, but they blew off a viable venue that has the capacity to absorb a lot of people. Moving the Hall H programs to Petco and the ballroom programs to Hall H would have, at least, eased congestion in the upstairs hallways and at best, might have allowed a few more passes to be sold. (Before anybody points out issues with crowds crossing Harbor Drive and the train and trolley tracks; a pedestrian bridge is available that crosses all three obstacles and funnels crowds to Petco’s main entrance)

  2. Doug, I think the Petco venues used are under cover. People camp out all day in Hall H — I don’t think ou’d be able to do that at PetCo sitting outside in the sun and all

    On a more meta level…are Hall H events really big enough for a stadium? They are already simulcast in another room.

  3. Moving Hall H to Petco is problematic.
    How do you handle the AV in the direct sunshine? The jumbotron might work, or you build temporary displays along the baselines, or, if tech savvy, you stream it to people’s cell phones via password with a distinct watermark to track piracy.

    Here’s the website:
    The field handles 10,000.
    The Park at the Park has space for 3K, 4K for a concert.

    Everything else is below Hall H capacity.

    A better solution?
    Use the Hyatt.
    Manchester Ballroom: 2800
    Douglas Pavillion: 3700

    As for camping out… if the sun discourages that, then that’s a win, no?
    Also, with a wrap-around-concourse and multiple levels, there is ample room for multiple lines for multiple events (you could even sit the line in the upper tier (or the tier below that, in the shade).

    Also… don’t Major League fans spend hours in those seats? If sports geeks can handle those conditions after spending hundreds of dollars, then pop culture geeks can handle it after spending hundreds of dollars.

    Don’t the geeks stand outside in the sun during the show, waiting to get into Hall H?

    Imagine multiple tickets being sold at CCI! One ticket gets you access to the show floor. Another gets you unlimited reserved seating at Petco! (With VIP seating in the suites or event spaces.) Another gets you into the rest of the panels. Wristbands keep it under control.

    Or you replicate Fashion Week in the northern parking lot that connects to the pedestrian bridge, putting up a large tent. Some are 120 ft wide, unlimited length, clearspan, wind-resistant (Maxibeam Clearspan).

  4. Heidi,
    Torsten answered some of your questions. I’ll expand on a couple. He found how many people can fit onto the field, but the field would only need to be used for the panels, not seating. Put a stage where the pitching mound goes for games and you could use around 20 or 30 thousand of the 40 something thousand seats that the park has. The Jumbotron facing the field and the one facing the Park in the Park work fine in direct sun. Additional AV equipment would not be required. Hall H seats a little more than 6 thousand. Even if you only used 20 thousand of Petco’s seats, people should be able to come and go as they like without waiting in hours or days long lines. Torsten also has a point about the eastern parking lots and tents. Those areas could easily be set up with exhibition sized tents, with air conditioning, holding the large media booths that cause a lot of the major congestion problems in the convention center.

  5. I’m not sure if Levi’s going to be there, though. I might be wrong, but don’t the dates for SDCC conflict with his new Broadway musical?

    Lance Roger Axt
    The AudioComics Company

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