Wizard World Switching From TicketLeap to Ticketmaster Subsidiary Front Gate Tickets

Wizard World announced last week that they would be switching from long time partner Ticketleap to the Ticketmaster subsidiary Front Gate Tickets. This change goes into effect with Wizard World Portland (February 17-19, 2017).

Mostly it’s a pretty boring “switching contractors” story, but there is an interesting wrinkle to this. Buried in the press release:

“Comic Con events are full of passionate fans and Wizard World is on the forefront of unlocking technology to better the fan experience and we couldn’t be happier to partner with them,” said Maura Gibson, President, Front Gate Tickets. “By leveraging RFID technology to utilize cashless payments and our Fan Engagement Suite for marketing sponsors, we’re able to create seamless, engaging experiences with the tap of a wristband while providing rich data to the Wizard World team.”

What this means is that RFID tags on badges/wristbands will allow Wizard World to track purchases made during the con. If the ability to accept these payments is expanded to vendors, depending on their contract with Front Gate Tickets says it could mean Wizard World would know which vendors did what kind of business during the event.

Maybe it’s just me, but that’s a little creepy. I’d probably just stick with cash.

Speaking of vendors, as a side note, this deal also apparently means that vendors can no longer pay for tables with a credit card. As The Beat reports, vendors began receiving emails from Wizard World on Friday telling them that payment will now only be accepted in check form. In a world where even the smallest cons accept vendor payment from credit cards, this just feels like going backwards.

But hey with Wizard World’s current financial issues, maybe going back in time is what they want.

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also writes and draws the webcomics UnCONventional and The Chronicles of Crosarth, which leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”