Whether it’s sporting events, concerts, dance performances or theater, here are tips for scoring hard-to-get tickets.
START AT THE SOURCE
Always start by checking the event’s website, calling the box office or stopping by the box office in person to inquire about availability and the face-value price of tickets. While you often can score a bargain ticket to a not-so-hot event on resale sites, you’ll typically find ridiculously inflated prices from resellers for popular events. Sometimes you’ll be redirected from an event site to a primary ticket provider, such as Ticketmaster. Be careful not to click on a ticket broker website, which can be cleverly designed to look like the official ticket vendor.
KNOW THAT NOT ALL RESELLERS ARE CREATED EQUAL
If an event is sold out or the seat location or ticket price you want is unavailable, you might need to use a licensed reseller. Some resale options are safer than others. Check the venue website for an official ticket exchange, as this should feature safeguards, including verified tickets. The next-safest options are ticket marketplaces such as TickPick, StubHub, SeatGeek, Ticket Monster and Ticketmaster. The riskiest options are purchasing from someone you don’t know through Craigslist or social media sites, including Facebook Marketplace. Ticket scams are rampant. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it’s likely a scam.
SIGN UP FOR FAN CLUBS AND EMAIL LISTS
Many artists have a fan club you can join or a newsletter you can subscribe to—or both—for a chance to buy tickets before the public. Go to the artist’s official website to find out what he or she offers. Most venues, live event promoters and production companies also have places on their websites to subscribe to email announcements, including ticket presale codes.
CHECK FOR TICKET PERKS THROUGH YOUR CREDIT CARD AND PHONE COMPANIES
Visit the websites of your credit card and cell phone providers to find out if resale opportunities or exclusive tickets are available. This past summer, for example, T-Mobile advertised a collaboration with Live Nation to offer “$25 tickets to the hottest shows all summer long” (fine print: limited tickets that were first come, first served).
Seek out lotteries for discounted or hard-to-get tickets; for example, the Hamilton national tour holds a lottery for 40 $10 seats at each performance. Watch venue and sports team social media accounts to learn about additional ticket releases. Once for a college basketball tournament, I called the seven other teams’ alumni offices and scored prime seats from a school that hadn’t sold all of its allotted tickets.