[UPDATE May 22] Comic-Con has quietly added a second parking option – through ParkWhiz and ABM Parking. The only days available are Saturday and/or Sunday, and the lots are further out (see map below) – but they are available for pre-purchase, and all you need to do is show your QR code on your phone as proof of payment.
[UPDATE May 10] Group 1 parking is currently finished, and Group 2 is underway this week. Currently, the convention center is completely full – and a few other days for other lots have been blocked off, including Wednesday-Friday at Diamond View Tower. Here’s a look at what’s still available:
Parking is the last major pre-convention hurdle for attendees leading up to San Diego Comic-Con. Whether you’re a local resident or not staying at a downtown hotel, where you park is very important.
Ace Parking (who owns most of the parking in Downtown San Diego) moved to a lottery based system two years ago, and is using the same system this year. You can view our Visual Guide from 2015 to (re)familiarize yourself with the process.
You can still sign up for the lottery through April 24 — with the drawing happening on April 25, to place people into one of six groups. On May 1, the system will be opened and restricted to the people in Group 1 only. Each week thereafter the system will be opened to the next group until all groups have had a chance to purchase their permits. At the end of the six-week period, the system will be opened to the general public.
Before we get started on details for this year’s sale, remember that the lottery system is only for a select number of the total parking spaces available. Even if you didn’t get sorted into a group there will be parking available in the public online sale. We are projecting the date of the public sale to be June 12, as each group’s sales start on six consecutive Mondays beginning May 1.
Also of note is that a limited amount of spaces “will be available for drive up parking the day of the event” at “the majority of the lots included in the online sale and others that are not included.” For more details about the parking sale Ace has info and a FAQ on their site.
We also want to remind everyone that the San Diego Trolley has two stops downtown right across the street from the convention center. It’s a great alternative for those who don’t want to deal with parking.
But what about the parking? What lots are available? Below is the list as well as the Google Map Ace created for this year’s lots. There are now 13 lots, up from 10 in 2016.
There will also be a service fee on top of the above prices.
Finally, the decision on which lot to choose looms like a Galactus cloud in a bad Fantastic Four movie. For most, the convention center is the most convenient place to park. Not only is it the shortest walk, but you can easily store purchases and even bring a cooler with your own food and drink to enjoy during a long day. There’s a reason it will likely sell out by the end of group two despite having double the number of spaces of any other lot except Horton Plaza: It’s prime real estate.
The good news, though, is that the Convention Center lot and Tailgate Park were the only two to completely sell out in last year’s lottery-based parking system before it opened up to the public – and there are lots of other lots to choose from.
The next most popular lot is the Hilton Bayfront with easy access to the Hall H side of the convention as well as the foot bridge over Harbor Blvd. to Petco Park and other offsite events. From there each lot is either across the street like Diamond View Towers or further into downtown like Horton Plaza.
Since you buy each parking pass by the day, you can choose different locations if needed. If you don’t have a badge for one or more days you may want to get parking in Tailgate or Diamond View Towers that will allow you quick access to the majority of offsite events.