San Diego Comic-Con 2020 Open Registration Recap: All I Want for Christmas Is… A Badge

You can officially answer the question: Am I going to San Diego Comic-Con next year?

For better or worse, several thousand Comic-Con attendees have their badges for 2020 — and several thousand more don’t yet.

Open Registration for San Diego Comic-Con 2020 — the badge sale for anyone, regardless of whether they attended SDCC in 2019 or not — took place this morning. The process included use of the EXPO Logic Registration Waiting Room, which has been in place since Comic-Con 2014, and it was pretty smooth.

So just how did the sale go?

The Waiting Room

The EXPO Logic waiting room opened promptly at 8AM PT, giving attendees one hour in which to enter before the room would randomly sort attendees to buy their badge. The process has become pretty streamlined over the years — with folks having a good idea of what to expect, and issues kept at a bare minimum. If anything, the main issue was just passing the time and trying not to freak out.

However, as with anything of this size, there were a handful of errors and glitches – but they’re definitely not the majority.


The Sale

Shortly after 9AM, those in the waiting room were randomly assigned a placement in line. Just like for 2019 Returning Registration, this process took about 5-10 minutes (or 7 minutes for this year, for those counting), and once the sorting was done, attendees were already getting through to the purchase page, with no issues.

From here on out, it was a slow, steady march towards being sold out. Timing was about normal, with this year taking just a little less than Open Registration for 2019 (66 minutes for 2020 compared to 72 minutes for 2019).

At 32 minutes into the process, Preview Night sold out — four minutes longer than the 28 minutes it took for 2019. Next, Saturday badges sold out, at 38 minutes (only one minute longer than the 37 minutes it took in 2019). Those were the last of the slower sell-outs, as Friday went at 43 minutes in, faster than the 47 minutes it had taken in 2019.

There was another long stretch of frenzied badge buying, followed by Thursday selling out 60 minutes into the process, and finally Sunday selling out at 66 minutes into the sale.

Overview & Next Steps

The badge buying process has become very streamlined over the years, with minimal issues. For those who unfortunately didn’t walk away with a badge, it’s all down to luck and supply/demand, rather than skill or technical issues — which can be a very small comfort. If you did have issues, hopefully you took screenshots, and you can contact Comic-Con International by using the “Contact Us” feature in your Member ID.

If you weren’t able to score a badge today, the Returned Badge Sale (for refunded badges) hasn’t happened in several years, and likely won’t be happening again this year either. Which means, unfortunately, that you probably won’t be getting a badge. But remember, there’s tons to do around the convention even without a San Diego Comic-Con badge, and there’s also always next year. We know those aren’t going to soothe your broken heart, but you will live to fight another badge sale.

Plus, last year, the Comic-Con Museum auctioned off dozens and dozens of badges on eBay to help raise funds for the museum — and while the first few went for thousands of dollars, by the end, the badges weren’t much more than regular retail value. So keep an eye out, and if they do list them, try to have patience.

As we’ve been saying for years, it really is just that hard to get a badge in Open Registration, because there’s so many more people trying to get a badge than there are badges available. And the convention center isn’t the real issue — we estimate that only 6.11% of all attendees who tried today got a badge, which means you’d need to find space for another 93.89% people. You would basically need an entire city to fit everyone who wants to go.

You can also probably take some comfort in the knowledge that you don’t have to participate in the General Hotel Sale, which we anticipate will happen likely sometime in April, though nothing official has been announced.

Badges will be mailed to U.S. shipping addresses in your Member ID. It’s a good idea to verify your address is correct ahead of the May 13, 2020 deadline. Those who enter an international shipping address, as always, will still pick-up on site.

Were you able to get what you wanted today? Let us know in the comments.

Scroll to Top