How to Get Cheap Sports Tickets and Concert Tickets | Personal Finance

Inflation is increasing the price of just about everything these days, and event tickets are no exception.

Concert tickets now cost an average of $192 each, up 50% from before the pandemic, and theater tickets have increased 48% to $250 each, according to data from SeatGeek. Tickets to sporting events have also increased: A seat at an NBA game now costs $145, on average, rising 46% when compared to pre-pandemic prices, and NFL ticket prices went up 46% to $257 each, on average, over the same period.

That means that a family of four could spend around $1,000 for a day’s entertainment. But there are ways to lower the cost. Follow these tips to make sure you’re not overpaying for tickets:

  • Don’t shop ahead for sporting events.
  • Go out on a school night.
  • Take advantage of presales.
  • Get the gang together.
  • Hit up the box office.

Don’t Shop Ahead for Sporting Events

Prices for tickets to sporting events tend to decrease as the event gets closer, with notable exceptions for playoff games or teams that hit a hot streak. For most regular-season games, you’ll get the best price within a day or two of the match. Note that tickets for concerts typically don’t follow the same patterns, so if you see a price that looks good, make the purchase.

Go Out On a School Night

Since demand for shows and sporting events on the weekend is higher, prices tend to be higher as well. This can be particularly useful for concerts where an artist is playing multiple shows at the same arena.

“If all else is equal, going to an event on a Tuesday night or a Wednesday night is likely to save you money,” says Chris Leyden, director of consumer strategy at SeatGeek.

Take Advantage of Presales

Presale events are an opportunity for eventgoers with a special code to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the public. There are several ways to get access to presales, including joining the fan club of a team or recording artist or signing up for the loyalty program at a venue. Some credit cards also offer presale access for some events as a perk to cardholders.

Get the Gang Together

Especially for plays and sporting events, if you’re buying on behalf of eight or more event attendees, you may get access to a group discount. Contact the group sales office at the theater or stadium to find out more about accessing such a deal.

Hit Up the Box Office

Many theaters and other venues sell tickets directly to the public, meaning that you can purchase them without having to go through the secondary market or pay a markup.

“A lot of venues allow you to just walk up and buy a ticket in-person at the box office once tickets go on sale, even up until the night of the event if it’s not sold out,” says Audrey Fix Schaefer, vice president of the board of directors for the National Independent Venue Association.

Plus, if you buy tickets in person you may not have to pay the convenience fee that many venues charge for purchases made online.

Wait a Few Days Before Buying On the Secondary Market

For events that sell out quickly, you’ll likely find yourself shopping for tickets on the secondary market. Often, resellers price tickets the highest immediately after they go on sale.

“You want to avoid the first 24 to 48 hours after an on-sale or a big concert announcement to allow the prices to potentially even out,” says Stubhub Adam Budelli.

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