The Best Time to Purchase Tickets for Events


To get the best price for sports, concerts, and theater tickets consumers need to purchase them immediately when they go on sale or wait until the last minute. For 100% confidence the tickets are valid with a competitive price its best to go to the box office. A direct purchase at the stadium or theater box office will eliminate any service charges common for secondary markets. More flexibility is also given for seating arrangements needed for big families and advice regarding which seats has the best view based on your budget. There is no worry for counterfeit tickets but you will pay full price for each ticket. The price for sports tickets will depend on how well your team plays and bad weather conditions will offer many opportunities for bargains. It’s best to purchase tickets close to game day or on game day because purchasing tickets two weeks to a month in advance can result in overpaying up to 40%. However, if your team plays well or popular among many the number of tickets available for last minute will be few and the price may not drop as much because of more demand. Waiting 30 minutes before the actual game starts is very risky but usually the best price for tickets because scalpers around the stadium want to get rid of the tickets they have. Something is always better than nothing. The biggest drawback to purchasing tickets from scalpers is they can be fake. There is countless number of stories from ordinary people getting burned by them. How legal it is to purchase from scalpers depends on where you live.

Sometimes waiting in line at the box office will end up worthless because the seats can be sold out or they are not where you want them. Most will then purchase tickets from secondary markets because consumers can purchase “hard to find seats” if they are willing to spend. The good seats are sold above face value and costs will add up even further after accounting for service fees during checkout. Research from countless number of surveys shows procrastinating helps with getting the most discounts. Sellers typically lower their prices as the event nears but there is always a level of uncertainty. The most popular secondary market resellers are StubHub (, TicketLiquidator (, TicketNetwork (, and VividSeats (


Any sold out sporting event, concert, or show will have many counterfeit tickets available especially on Craigslist. Fake tickets always go up when there is more demand. Stick to something trusted in the secondary market like StubHub or TicketLiquidator. It’s best to purchase from authorized dealers well known and calling Ticketmaster directly is a way to confirm if tickets are real. Read the description from secondary websites to make sure you are not purchasing “spec” tickets because those are advertisements of tickets dealers do not have. Any event not yet sold to the general public but are available on secondary markets is a sign they are “spec” tickets. Be cautious of any pictures of tickets that are blurry, missing seat or section numbers, have same barcode or serial number on more than one ticket, and typos. Each ticket has a unique event code, hologram, and bar code. Always demand a receipt because if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


2 thoughts on “The Best Time to Purchase Tickets for Events

  1. That’s interesting. When I was much younger, for a Cure concert, we bought upgraded tickets (we already bought tickets online) from a person out in front of the concert venue. that had us right in front of the stage, on the floor. Wondering if, nowadays, those tickets could also be counterfeit.


    • It’s fair to assume some of them could be. I’m more of a secondary market shopper that goes to many sites a few weeks before the event. Many years ago I waited in line to purchase tickets to a baseball game when they first came out but I don’t have the time or patience to do that anymore.


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