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New York Comic Con Targets Scalpers with Fan Verification

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Fans mingle at New York Comic-Con 2015; Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In recent years, as New York Comic Con gets increasingly popular, fans have seen the already hard-to-get tickets snapped up in seconds by scalpers, then resold at outrageous prices online.

Reed Exhibitions, the company behind the annual event, has heard the outcry from shut-out — and overcharged — fans, and for 2016, organizers have put their feet down. 

“None of us are happy when we put tickets on sale, and immediately afterwards we see these tickets starting to creep up on Craigslist and eBay, and StubHub and all that,” NYCC’s Event Director Mike Armstrong tells ABC News Radio. “The goal here really is to get tickets in the hands of fans, and get them to pay a fair price for them.” 

One way they plan to do it is to pre-verify people. Fan registration will allow organizers to put a name to each potential ticket buyer. After registering, fans will get a heads-up as to when tickets will go on sale, and get a special purchase link. 

“In the past, you could have bought four tickets, and we’d only know who the one person was who bought the tickets. Now we know who the other four people are…so that you don’t have somebody with a bulk amount of tickets going out and reselling,” Armstrong explained.

He adds the company also has an “substantial blacklist” of people who have resold tickets in the past. “Last year we reclaimed over three thousand tickets…and we put [them] back for sale for fans at face value.”

It was announced Wednesday that 2016 will be the last New York Comic Con for 93-year-old comics icon Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and myriad other characters. “He’s a great entertainer,” Armstrong said, adding, “We want to give our fans what they want…they’ve told us over and over that Stan Lee is the guy they wanna see. And, you know, this will be his last hurrah in New York, but we’re excited to have him again.”  

The 2016 New York Comic Con will run from October 6-9 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

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