Newsarama has the press release on WW Chicago’s attendance, and to the shock of all it’s a new record!

Wizard World, the country’s foremost touring event for pop culture and comic books, announced today that it once again exceeded attendance expectations with its tenth annual Chicago event at The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, attracting more than 58,000 attendees over three and a half days, making this past weekend’s convention the largest Wizard World event to date. Guest of Honor Jeph Loeb, a comic book writer (Superman/Batman, Batman: The Long Halloween, Ultimates 3) and a film/TV producer/writer (NBC’s Heroes, Lost, Smallville) headlined the event that saw fan turnout top last year’s 56,000 attendees – growth attributed to Wizard’s ongoing commitment to providing fans with the opportunity to meet some of the biggest stars in comics, film and television, and explore the worlds of comics, cards, toys, anime, manga, and gaming.

That’s a modest 2,000 person gain over 2005, which was itself a mere
1500 over 2004.
As everyone knows, Wizard is believed to use a one day = one person formula to calculate attendees, meaning a three day pass equals three people. (Other shows use a one pass = one person formula.) This Matt Brady adds an unusual disclaimer at the end of the press release:

Newsarama Note: As in years past, Newsarama has again requested from Wizard the method by which they arrived at their attendance number. Wizard has historically declined to release that information – or respond to requests.

Indeed, even Newsarama posters are a bit skeptical in the comment section, with one declaring

there’s no way that’s possible… u could actually walk through the convention on sat this year, unlike last year


  1. Saturday was really crowded, and there is no way one could just “walk through” the convention hall on that day — especially in the afternoon! I know, because I had a heckuva time meeting up on time with people twice because of the crowds.

    That’s not to say that Wizard World doesn’t count its three-day passes as “three people” — but I frankly don’t know HOW they count bodies. All I know is that it was freakin’ crowded on Saturday, and pretty busy on late Friday afternoon as well.

  2. With the preview night, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re starting to four-count people. And while some areas were crowded, it was due more to poor layout than people. Friday and Sunday were near ghost-towns around the outskirts.
    Also consider the food and parking in the area – I never had problem finding a space or getting grub. Wizard COULD get more bodies into this con, but it means charging less (both for booths and attendees), and advertising a bit more. There was no media saturation in Chicago, all I saw was Lollapalooza.