Convention center says refunds available for RI Comic Con

Hundreds of people were left out in the cold this weekend when the Rhode Island Convention Center reached a capacity crowd for Rhode Island Comic Con.

Larry Lepore, the convention center's general manager, said Monday that ticket holders who were denied access can receive a refund.

Lepore said ticket holders have to go to where they bought their Rhode Island Comic Con tickets to receive the refund. People with day passes who were admitted but could not reenter will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Ticket holders, even those with VIP passes, complained online and to NBC 10 that they had to wait hours to get into the event.

Lepore blamed the fiasco on poor planning, saying too many tickets were sold and that organizers did not anticipate the event to grow as fast as it did.

He said the fire marshal stopped entrance to the building when it reached capacity at 17,000 people. Lepore said more than 20,000 tickets were sold for Saturday.

Lepore said the convention center is equipped to handle the event next year. He said the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority has started discussions about this weekend's problems, saying next year the Dunkin' Donuts Center may be used to accommodate the growing event.

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