Ace Parking is taking a new approach to parking for San Diego Comic Con this year. Following the badge sale lottery and the hotel lottery, fans now get to compete in the parking permit lottery.
Anyone interested in a parking permit for SDCC 2015 will have to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then… wait. That’s it.
Emails will be accepted until April 12, 2015, after which you will be notified if your “entry” (as they are calling the emails) was randomly selected. The good news is you are guaranteed that spot for as many days as you require, but the bad news is that you don’t get to pick the lot you park in.
The lots will be filled in this order:
Petco Lots (excluding Campus lot which will be closed for construction during Comic-Con)
Diamond View Tower
Gaslamp City Square
The email sent out by Ace Parking, by April 15, 2015 per their website, will include which location you were drawn for and how to purchase the permit at that location. If you choose not to buy the permit at that location, there are no do-overs, you’re simply out of luck.
After the lottery participants purchase or forfeit their parking spots, Ace will open up the system to everyone else for purchase.
While, in theory, this seems like an organized and fair way of doing the parking permit lottery, I foresee a few issues.
The first issue being awareness of how the parking permits are being handled this year. With a deadline in place and an email required, I sincerely hope San Diego Comic Con sends out an email to everyone to make sure they are aware of what is required this year, since it is so vastly different from how Ace has handled parking permits before.
The second issue being how easily exploitable the lottery system seems. It lacks the same measures that San Diego Comic Con puts in place to limit how many “entries” people can put in. Everyone gets one opportunity to enter the waiting room and one opportunity to put in their hotel choices, but with Ace and these emailed entries, it seems easy to create infinite emails and enter all of them to boost your chances.
In fact, Ace seems to anticipate these exploits in their FAQs:
Q: If I send in multiple entries from multiple email accounts that I own and win one of them, can I purchase my permit with any of the emails I registered with or only the one that won?
A: Only the one that won. Your winning email address must be registered in the account you are going to use to purchase the permits. The purchase process will require you to log into your account first and will validate your email address. If your email address matches one on the selected list, you will be given the option to purchase a permit at the lot your name was drawn for. If there is no match, the option to purchase a permit will not be available to you.
Q: Can I register multiple times for the lottery?
A: Yes and no, the system will accept your entries, but the drawing will be restricted to one entry per email address.
Both of those questions imply that Ace already knows people will register multiple emails to try to score a parking permit and the second question makes it clear that it’s allowable. This is disappointing and disheartening for those who are going to attempt the lottery fairly (with their one email versus those who will create multiple emails to gain an advantage).
Be mindful of the deadlines, con-goers, and may the odds be ever in your favor! Let us know what you think of this new approach to parking in the comments!