What's the best way to buy U.S. professional sports tickets nowadays?
January 15, 2015 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm preparing to attend my first NBA game and I would like to know what is the best way to buy tickets for a specific game. More generally, I'd be interested in learning about the best ways to buy U.S. professional sports tickets in general.

In a general sense, I would like to know if the techniques and tips discussed in this question are still valid nearly 6 years later. E.g., are there other, newer ticket sale/exchange web sites that are worth investigating, or are the more tried-and-true options like the teams' web sites, eBay, StubHub, and (maybe?) Craigslist still the best choices? Are there options for discounts or early availability offered through social media? Are there any tips mentioned in that prior question that are now obsolete?

More specifically, I would like to buy three tickets to the 76ers-Hornets game in Philadelphia on February 7. If you have any suggestions for how to best do this, I would be most appreciative. E.g., since the 76ers clearly appear to be "tanking" this season, ticket demand is presumably low; are there particularly good options for securing tickets below face value under these circumstances? Are there any online forums that might be of help? Are there local laws (e.g., anti-scalping laws) of which I should be aware?

At the risk of stating the obvious, my goal would certainly be to get the best price possible, but, even more importantly, to buy the tickets in a legal way with minimal risk of receiving counterfeit tickets. I'd be fine with either electronic or physical delivery of the tickets.
posted by cheapskatebay to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I use SeatGeek which aggregates a lot of secondary ticket market sites such as StubHub. I mainly use it for MLB tickets but it supports most events at big sports venues. The fact that it includes lesser-known ticket sites is very useful because while there are less tickets on those sites they will tend to be cheaper and have less fees. You have to be careful to double-check where the seats you are buying are actually located because their map is not always 100% accurate, but the site is very easy to use and sort through and find the best seats for your quantity and price range.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:42 AM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Hornets-76ers? I would guess you would be able to get free/near free tickets without much effort. Look out on craigslist day of the game.
posted by sandmanwv at 11:11 AM on January 15, 2015

FWIW, for non-super-high-demand things (ie regular season games in sports with lots of games, like hockey, baseball, basketball), scalpers in the street offer best price and plenty of options. Now, you may not get the seat you want, and I haven't had counterfeit tix that way but you are taking more of a risk for those savings.
posted by k5.user at 11:24 AM on January 15, 2015

Those scalpers on the streets make me nervous. What if your tickets are fake? Could you ask the scalper to come to the gate with you and not pay them until you get in?
posted by Fister Roboto at 1:48 PM on January 15, 2015

Are you looking for the cheapest possible ticket, or a more premium ticket at a lower price than face value? If it's the former, just buy from the Sixers directly or from StubHub. They have tickets starting at $14 and $11, respectively, and won't be counterfeit.
posted by jshort at 3:36 PM on January 15, 2015

Response by poster: jshort, good question. I'm interested in premium seats this time, but your advice for the cheaper tickets is helpful.
posted by cheapskatebay at 5:22 PM on January 15, 2015

I think the best way to score premium seats is to find a season ticket holder or box owner who wants to dump their tickets. Craigslist usually has listings for them, and possibly the venue itself as the previous question mentioned.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:56 PM on January 15, 2015

Approach a scalper 5 or 10 minutes before the game starts and act like you are perfectly happy to go sit in the cheap seats, but you might pay a little bit more for good seats. The key is you really have to be willing to walk away if you can't score a deal. The scalper is 5 minutes for having tickets worth essentially zero, so he is motivated to sell. It's just a matter of winning the negotiation.
posted by COD at 5:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

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