Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wrestlemania Fan Axxess Advice

I had a WONDERFUL time at Wrestlemania XXVII weekend in Atlanta earlier this month. I tried to go into it prepared, but outside of one guy's YouTube video's, there wasn't much in terms of tips or advice for Fan Axxess. So, this is a good opportunity to share any words of wisdom I had after experiencing it for myself. Please note these things happen maybe twice a year, and are in a different city every time, so I can only give generalized suggestions.

1. Tickets
- They seem to go on sale around 3-4 months prior to the event. Check WWE.com for official updates.
- VIP tickets give you a few perks: meeting high tier superstars (regular ticket holders CANNOT meet these guys), early entrance into the event, ring side standing room for live matches, and being able to cut in line for certain other attractions (excluding autograph sessions). They also run you at least twice as much money, but it's the only way I would have met people like Cena, HBK, HHH, and Undertaker. Plus, VIP tickets sell out... FAST!
- So if you want VIP, you should Google pre-sale codes and such so you can get your hands on tickets a week before they're released to the public. In fact, this is a good strategy to use for any concert or sporting event because of all the scalpers out there.
- Regular Axxess tickets do not sell out. They'll have tickets for sale the day of the event if you just want to walk up there and buy one.

2. Lines
- I'd suggest at least getting there an hour before doors open for each Axxess session. Even then, there will already be a line of 100-200 people ahead of you. As mentioned before, VIP people will have a separate line and will be allowed to go in first.
- Once you're in, use those precious first few minutes to get in line for autographs. They may or may not list who will appear at what station, so it's a crapshoot of who you're in line for. If you go to multiple Axxess sessions, you may figure out a pattern to who sits at which autograph station (i.e., bigger names came to Station 1 and Station 2 during my weekend). Other attractions like memorabilia displays or games typically don't have as many people in line.
- Because WWE doesn't cap regular tickets, there are a lot of other people in line with you. You can expect to meet 1 superstar per hour, maybe 2 if one of them isn't a big name. The Diva photoshoot lines also go a little quicker. Just don't expect to meet everyone on your checklist.

3. Finer Points to Avoid Confusion
- There are multiple Axxess sessions during the weekend. You need 1 ticket for each one. Example, buying a ticket for Thursday night gets you into Thursday night only! You need another ticket for Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon.
- WWE announces who will be the VIP only Superstar for each session, and the VIP ticket is the ONLY way to meet them. Again, you need a separate ticket for each session. Yes, you can mix and match like I did. I only wanted to see 4 big name guys, so I bought 4 VIP tickets, and 3 regular tickets for the remaining sessions.
- The VIP ticket GUARANTEES you see the VIP only Superstar you came for (assuming you're in time for that session and are in the right line). I've been to many signing sessions before, and the folks who run these are efficient but friendly. You can typically have a few seconds to say something, and you are allowed one autograph and one posed photo with them.
- The regular ticket holders do not get a guarantee they'll meet the person they're in line for. If time expires and the Superstar has to leave, they're gone, and you're left with nothing. Even if you get to meet them, you may not be allowed a pose photo because the line has so many people behind you and they want to move it along as quickly as possible. This is not the case for VIP because they cap it at a certain number of tickets sold.
- Diva photo ops only allow photos with WWE's professional cameras. Not with your own, and you're not allowed to get anything signed either. Just a quick hello, pose for the camera, and that's it. They use a service where you get a card with a specific number on it for you to later look up your picture online. DO NOT LOSE THIS CARD! In fact, write it down or take a picture of the card so you have a backup copy.

If anyone has questions, please ask. I will eventually do a YouTube video of this to reach more people, and I'd like to hit as many points as I can.