NYCC 2018: Navigating The Venues And Knowing The Rules

New York Comic Con keeps growing and this year is no different. Along with the programming at the Javits Center fans can check out a number of off-site venues to catch all the content they could possibly want this weekend. 

Below you will find a list of the venues, their basic rules, and links to find out more.

The Javits Center (655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001)

The Javits Center is the main home to New York Comic Con and where you will likely spend the majority of your time. This venue is a pretty typical convention center. Upon arrival you will be asked to submit to a quick bag check. Then you will tap your badge to get into the convention itself. Access to everything at Javits is granted with the purchase of a New York Comic Con badge.

Rules at the Javits Center are pretty lax. You’re allowed to bring in outside food or drink even though they have things to purchase inside. Cosplay is allowed, but most weapons (even prop weapons) are not going to be allowed. 

You can find the best information about what is or isn’t allowed at the Javits Center on their Frequently Asked Questions page

The Hammerstein Ballroom (311 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001)

The Hammerstein Ballroom is a quick walk up 34th street. If you’re headed to an event there and are a fast walker, give yourself 10-15 minutes. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, then you’ll want to buffer in more time, especially when you have to swim through seas of people to get there. You can get into any events here with your New York Comic Con badge.

Seating at Hammerstein is first-come, first-served. They do not allow drinks or outside food and are very strict about sharpies, lighters, and gum and the bag check folks don’t mess around. Queue rules and panel timing differ from Javits so pay attention to your schedule and check out the venue policies on this page

Madison Square Garden (4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001)

If you’re headed to MSG, exit the Javits Center and head right toward 31st Street. You’ll hang a left and follow it until you hit 7th avenue. According to the New York Comic Con website, that is the direction that will take you directly to the queues you’ll need to get in to get inside. Your New York Comic Con badge will get you into any and all events here.

Madison Square Garden is a huge venue. It does not allow outside food and drinks to be brought inside and has specific policies about cosplay. Panel seating here is also a first-come, first-served basis. Odds are you’ll have to go through a bag check so don’t try to sneak in contraband. You can read more about venue policies here.

The Studio (11th Avenue and 39th Street)

The Studio is an off-site venue that boasts a host of events during New York Comic Con weekend. Most of the events here require a separate ticket. You will want to look VERY CAREFULLY at the details on the schedule for events at this site to know what you’ll need in order to attend. 

Some of the events are available with a New York Comic Con badge valid for the day of the event. Most of the time this guarantees “Tier 1” seating, which is The Studio’s equivalent of general admissions. Events that allow this will let you in, but you won’t get any of the perks (such as signed items) that paid tickets get. Everyone regardless of their NYCC badge status is welcome to buy “Tier 2” seats to any of the events.

However, there are many of the events that 100% require a separate ticket. This means you’ll need to plan ahead and, as mentioned above, consult the schedule details

Anime Fest at Pier 94 (711 12th Ave, New York, NY 10019)

Anime Fest at Pier 94 is a celebration of everything Japan. You can find the full schedule of events right here. Since this venue is new this year there does not appear to be a lot of information about procedures. It is safe to say fans should treat this like any other offsite venue: assume your food and drink might be confiscated, and that your bag will likely be checked upon entry. 

This off-site event requires completely separate tickets for the days fans want to go. However, Anime Fest tickets are valid for specific New York Comic Con off-site anime panels listed on the schedule. You can find ticket prices (and purchase them) on the Anime Fest @ NYCC page

Star Wars Fan Club Experience (Annex 37 517 W 37th St)

Whether you have a badge or not, Star Wars fans are invited to this off-site venue. You can find any and all details about this venue right here on their page

Don’t know where to go?

If you’re not from NYC never fear, NYCC has a map RIGHT HERE. This should lead you to any of the off-site venues you need to get to during the convention. 

To keep from getting lost, it is helpful to know that this part of NYC is on a grid system. Avenues run uptown and downtown (North & South) while numbered streets run East to West. Street numbers get higher the further north you go. 

Still confused? Feel free to tweet at the New York Comic Con official twitter as they are very responsive. You can also follow us on Twitter for all the latest news and tips as the convention is happening.