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So, you want to go to a big sporting event that is coming up. But, what’s the best way to actually go about getting those tickets? Here’s how to get tickets to the big game, regardless of the sport, without a lot of effort.
- Tips for Buying Tickets to a Big Game
- Where to Get Tickets to the Big Game
Tips for Buying Tickets to a Big Game
Before we dive into where to buy tickets, let me give you two tips that will make the whole buying process a lot easier and increase your chances of getting the tickets you want.
Tip #1: Start early and know what you want.
There’s a universal truth in sports: Big games sell out and they sell out fast!
So, to get your hands on tickets to the biggest games in sports, you need to start early and do your research. This will help you understand the process used to sell the tickets. It will also help you know what you want and when they go on sale.
Tickets for bowl games, tournaments, and playoff games may not actually go on sale until a few short weeks before the game.
Most sports schedules, however, are usually set years in advance. So, the dates of these games will be known long before the ticket office opens. Rivalry and other regular season big games are also known a year or more in advance.
To increase your odds of getting tickets to the game you want, start planning early. Find out the date of the game you’re interested in and mark it on your calendar.
Then figure out when tickets go on sale and be prepared to buy them the minute the ticket window opens. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you, if needed.
Tip #2: Be prepared to pay a premium.
It’s hard to get your hands on tickets to big games because these are the games that everyone wants to go to see. When demand is high, the supply is limited. When this is the case, there is no such thing as cheap seats.
People who try to find cheap tickets to big games usually end up empty handed. So, if you really want tickets to a big game, be prepared to pay a premium price for the privilege of going to the game.
If you prepare yourself in advance to shell out a good chunk of money for tickets, you won’t be as shocked when you see the prices once tickets go on sale.
Where to Get Tickets to the Big Game
While the options and methods for buying tickets may vary slightly from sport to sport and level of play, you can use most, if not all, of the below options to get the tickets you are looking for.
Option #1: The Home Team Ticket Office
The most straightforward place to buy tickets to the big game is the home team ticket office. They are not only the most direct source of tickets, but they will also have the most inventory. So, this is always your safest option.
They will also be the most knowledgeable about the details of the game and game day logistics. And if anything goes wrong with your tickets, they are the best place to go for solutions.
Just remember, however, that there may be procedures or restrictions in place that make it difficult or impossible to buy tickets directly from the home team.
For instance, many big college programs don’t sell individual game tickets, use a priority system for when you can buy tickets, or require a donation to the school’s athletic department to be eligible to buy tickets.
Option #2: The Visiting Team Ticket Office
The visiting team is always given an allotment of seats for games. Some of these are used for the families of players and coaches, as well as the band or others traveling with the team. But, some of them are sold to fans.
While the number available to buy through the visiting team is much smaller than that available from the home team, sometimes it is actually easier to get your hands on these tickets.
My husband and I once watched the University of Colorado play at the University of Texas. Texas required a donation to the program to buy tickets, but we were able to easily get them from Colorado without the same requirement.
The downside to buying tickets from the visiting team is that they are usually in a block and are not the best seats in the house.
Option #3: The Stadium Ticket Office
Your third option for buying tickets to the big game is through the stadium where the game will be played. Now, many times, this will be the same as the home team ticket office, but not always.
When you are looking at bowl games, tournaments, playoff games, or special exhibition events, this will usually be different.
The stadium ticket office has the advantages of being the direct source of the tickets and your first stop for problems. Yet, they usually don’t have the same restrictions as home team ticket offices have.
If you are looking to attend one of these neutral site games more for the experience than the teams involved, you may be able to score your seats prior to the participating teams being announced by choosing this option.
Option #4: Ticketmaster
You can also go through Ticketmaster to get your seats to the big game. The beauty of using Ticketmaster is that they will have tickets for a wide variety of games. In fact, many venues use Ticketmaster as their online broker.
This is definitely one of the most convenient ways to find the tickets you want.
Option #5: Stubhub
If you missed the boat on tickets going on sale, or you have been unsuccessful with the other options above, go to Stubhub.
Unlike Ticketmaster, Stubhub is where people who already have tickets but can’t use them go to resell them. Many times, you can get amazing seats to some of the most popular games on Stubhub.
The disadvantage of Stubhub, however, is that you will usually pay more than face value for the tickets. Yet, if you are determined to get access to the big game, this can definitely be the answer.
Option #6: Fan Forums
My last recommendation for where to get tickets for the big game is one you probably haven’t thought about. And that is through a fan forum for one of the teams playing in the game.
If you search online, you will find these forums for almost every team out there. Many of them are frequented by people who have season tickets. Whenever they can’t use their tickets for a particular game, they will, many times, post them for sale on the fan forum instead of on Stubhub.
While this method is not always a guarantee, especially for big games, it can be a less popular place to find the seats you want. Plus, you may be able to get them cheaper than you could on Stubhub, simply because of a lower demand.
For sports fans, there is nothing more fun than attending a big game in person. But, it can sometimes be difficult to find tickets to these games. If you are looking to get access to a popular game, the above tips and methods can help.
For more sports travel tips, see how to please your sports fan while traveling, how to maximize your bowl game experience, how to survive football games with kids, and what to expect from the college baseball playoffs.
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