When is the best time to buy tickets? We hear this question all the time. We are going to share some tips to help you decide when is the best time to purchase your event tickets. To search for a specific type of ticket, scroll down to our Table of Contents. Otherwise, keep reading for more information on a variety of ticket options.
Like any consumable product, tickets are bought and sold in a market. (Buyers and Sellers).
Factors to consider:
- Supply and Demand
- The popularity of the event
- Price people willing to pay?
Let’s break this down a little further. While all of these factors are connected to each other in one way or another, it’s sometimes easier to look at each individually.
Ticket Supply and Demand
Probably the most basic component of economics is supply and demand. Since we are talking about tickets we’ll stick to some examples pertaining to the topic.
Say a concert tour is announced in the upcoming months. If the tickets go on sale that day the supply is high but so is the demand. One side will take the lead over the other. With tickets, there is not an infinite supply. If the demand is high, prices will rise drastically knowing the supply will run out.
Once a sales plateau is reached, the ticket supply will then start to stabilize and prices will fall. Supply and demand will fluctuate from the moment the tickets go on sale to the moment before the event. Sellers are waiting for higher prices, while buyers are waiting for prices to drop. Finding a happy medium for both parties is the trick.
Let’s look at a real-life situation – the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is one of the most expensive large scale events in the world. Supply is extremely limited and the demand is usually high.
Unless you are a lucky season ticket holder of one of the teams playing, the likelihood of purchasing a ticket to the game directly is very slim. You’ll most likely have to purchase tickets from one of the best ticket sites.
In this scenario, you will be forced to make a decision – buy the tickets at super high prices or wait until the prices hopefully drop depending on who is playing. As the game date approaches, the supply will drop significantly and more than likely, the price will rise. However, unless it’s a great match-up, there will be waves of price fluctuations.
Trying to catch the bottom is quite difficult and in most cases, highly unlikely.
Let’s look at an example that is more common – concert tickets. In this example, we’ll look at The Jonas Brothers. A multi-event concert will have different variables than an annual event like a Super Bowl.
Let’s say the tour is playing in 20 different cities around the country. This means the number of people attending each venue will be much lower than a one-time Super Bowl.
If you live in Miami, Florida, you’re probably not looking for tickets to a show in Kansas City, Missouri. You’ll look for tickets in Miami or the closest city to you.
Remember the cycle of the ticket market world. There is usually high supply at the beginning with high demand, then lower supply with lower demand. The price will rise, then fall, with some peaks and valleys as the concert date arrives.
If you would like to learn more about supply and demand economics you can continue to read more here.
The Popularity of an Event
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. When a concert tour or a team schedule is announced, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to guarantee your entry by purchasing your tickets right away. Of course, some events sell out so fast you’ll never have first dibs on the tickets sold.
In all likelihood, tickets will be available in the future on a third-party site. A lot of people wait these days until they are ready to decide vs. being forced to make their purchase immediately.
How many times have you bought tickets in advance only to realize you have something else come up that day and you need to sell your tickets?
However, waiting has a couple of negative factors.
- You may find that the tickets are too expensive.
- You may find that the best seats are gone.
In the case of an Elton John last show, finding great seats at a cheap price is going to be nearly impossible. On the other end of the spectrum, you can most likely find tickets to a losing sports team for face value or lower. While this doesn’t mean they are inexpensive, it just means you can purchase them at any time leading up to the game.
You can see how FOMO could relate to supply and demand. FOMO plays a significant role in supply and demand. If Taylor Swift announces a tour and you want to take your preteen daughter and her friends, you’ll need to act quickly so you don’t miss out. Waiting could lead to the negative factors above.
Willing to Pay
In most cases, the ticket prices listed on the different ticket sites are the prices before fees.
Fees are the worst part of any ticket purchase. You think you’ve found a deal, an affordable price and then you get to the checkout and see the added fees. Sticker shock kicks in and you start to look elsewhere, before ultimately coming back to your original option. It’s a game all ticket providers know.
Bottom Line – You have to accept the fees and move on. For the most part, each site will carry the same amount in terms of fees. You could get lucky and find tickets with fewer fees but this doesn’t happen very often.
Table of Contents
|Concert Tickets||NFL Tickets||MLB Tickets|
|NBA Tickets||College Football||Tennis Tickets|
|Hamilton Tickets||Day of the Game||Super Bowl Tickets|
The best time to buy concert tickets will depend on the show you plan to see. If you are looking at a one night show vs. a touring event the timing will be much different.
Are you going to see Billie Eilish or are you going to see a jazz concert at a local theater? Assuming you are looking at a touring event for Billie Eilish, we have to consider the arena size and location. A Madison Square Garden event is most likely going to be more expensive than an event at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. The two biggest factors here are the population size (bigger audience) and the cost of living. The best seats will sell out early and the ones that are available will be way more expensive than they were earlier in the sales process.
For concerts, we can give you 100’s of different examples of timing your purchase. Here is what we suggest.
- If you really want to go to the show, purchase tickets during the release period. This is before all of the mark-ups happen.
- If you were unlucky during the release period or missed it, we suggest checking prices four to six weeks out for the best seats available.
- Two weeks out for the best available seats at the highest prices.
- Within 5 days for any seat available.
- You can risk the day of, but will most likely not find the seat you desire at the price available.
We created a page dedicated to finding the best time to buy concert tickets. Here you will learn more about how to get the best price.
The search for the cheap NFL ticket. Is this even a possibility?
Unless you can score a free ticket to a game, you will most likely be paying a lot of money for good seats. There are of course certain games, teams, and situations where tickets could be less. If you buy tickets at the beginning of the season, hoping to see Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field in week 12 you’re taking a big risk. What if the Packers turn in a terrible season or Rodgers gets hurt? This could be devastating to the price of the tickets to that game and all other games. On the other side, you can buy those same tickets and the Packers and Rodgers could have a spectacular season causing ticket prices to go up.
Either way, you have to play a little game to get the best tickets at the right time. If going to that game is more important than price then you can’t worry about it.
Here are some tips before buying NFL Tickets
- Two weeks out is not the best time to buy.
- If you only need one ticket, the day of the game tickets can be a great way to see a game.
- There are a lot of people sitting on an extra ticket hoping to get rid of it at a fair price.
- Be careful of prime-time game match-ups and of course playoffs.
- Consider going to games against inferior opponents.
- If you see a good price, jump on it. This is someone trying to move the market and you can take advantage.
- Remember, a lot of ticket sellers will make their money on the big games. Less exciting games give the buyer a little more wiggle room on price.
The NFL is notorious for saying games are sold out when in fact a lot of them are not. This is part of the blackout stipulations teams have with the NFL and local TV providers.
If you can’t sell out a game they won’t show the game on Local TV.
How many times have you watched an NFL game and noticed how empty the seats are? Those tickets were sold but they were never sold to an actual person.
When to buy NFL tickets is a bit of a mystery. We continue our discussion about the best time to buy NFL tickets here.
NFL Playoff Tickets
These are some of the biggest tickets around. Each year the NFL playoffs host 10 games.
We have the almighty fun Wild Card weekend, Divisional Weekend and Conference Championship weekend.
Only so many teams will host a playoff game. If the teams are good, they may have a chance to host more than one game. This minimizes the chances most people get to go to a playoff game each year. This is another reason why die-hard fans go crazy when their team doesn’t make the playoffs.
Should your team get a home game and you are not a season ticket holder, you will want to grab tickets when they are released.
The prices may fluctuate but wouldn’t you rather see the team than not. The supply will be strong early on. We think most people will agree that these tickets will cost a lot and be happy their team has a home playoff game.
Monitor a few different sections and see how the prices move in the first 24 hours. Watch for the price to stabilize and then you make your move. If you wait until the last minute on playoff tickets you have a slim chance of making a better choice then getting them a few days prior.
Here is a deeper breakdown of getting NFL Playoff tickets.
Baseball is one of the easiest sports to get tickets to. The reason, there is much more supply with over 80 home games for each team, each year. This does not include the postseason. You have a ton of options when it comes to going to a game. Here is a short list to consider when looking for economical tickets.
- Time of the year – Get tickets to games when the weather may not be as favorable.
- Pick games against weaker teams. Not only will you most likely see a win, but the prices will also be less.
- Get your tickets on game day. You should be able to purchase a single ticket with ease.
- Season ticket holders and resellers will have a hard time selling seats to a lot of the games.
- Avoid marquee match-ups for lower costs.
- Consider the family sections or bleacher seats if you only plan to attend a few innings.
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We know there are die-hard baseball fans out there, but for most of us, we sometimes don’t have the time for a full baseball game.
Games at night are also less expensive during the week. Attending a good match-up during the week is a better option for you than on a weekend.
Ticket sellers know the best pitching match-ups are the highest priced ticket. However, think about this. not as experienced pitchers can give up a lot of runs – making the game more exciting.
There are tons of options when it comes to baseball. You have to decide what factor is more important to you. More details about the best time to buy baseball tickets can be found here.
We also take a look at the postseason baseball. The MLB Postseason. You can read more about baseball on several different pages on this site. Here is a breakdown of the best time to get World Series tickets.
Basketball is another sport where you have a little leeway when it comes to buying your tickets. Each team plays a ton of games each season. With that in mind, the budget will be the next thing to think about.
Is buying a Lakers vs. Clippers ticket package before the season starts a good idea? Only if money is not am issue and you don’t really care where you sit.
NBA is played all week long. This means games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are your best days to buy tickets. All other days will see a price increase.
Without thinking about seat location, a game on a Monday may be a perfect time to take your family. You can get pretty decent seats and the family will be happy. It also means the prices won’t be too astronomical.
Here are some things to think about when buying NBA Tickets.
- If you are a single viewer, you can easily wait until the day of the game or right before the game.
- If you want a great seat location against a good team you may not want to wait that long.
- The more expensive games need to be watched closely. Don’t jump on the first set of tickets you see. Watch a few different sections.
- If you want VIP or court-side seats you could save money by picking the game against a very weak opponent on a weekday.
Check the end of the article for our Interview with a Basketball ticket reseller. He gives a few tips on how he sells his tickets and what people try to do on both sides of the marketplace. You can also read more on when is the best time to buy basketball tickets right here.
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If you like football there is nothing like going to a college football game. The energy is great and the stadium filled with youthful fans hoping their team pulls out a win.
But, before you go to your next game you have to figure out when is the best time to buy tickets. Some times you’ll have to decide and make the purchase early so you get the best seats. Other times you can walk up to the gate and make the purchase.
If you decide to go to an Alabama vs. LSU game you will be paying top dollar no matter when you buy. We all want to see a good game but if budget is a concern, try games where it’s not a conference battle. This way you can be sure there will be tickets available.
In most cases, sellers will keep the price up but eventually battle each other on trying to get rid of them. This is the time you can buy your tickets on the day of the game.
By now, you should start seeing a pattern here. Find the games that aren’t the most competitive and you’ll pick the best game based on price. You can wait or jump into the party early and get your tickets. Here we go into more details about getting your college football tickets.
Tennis is a sport that is so much better to watch live than on TV. You can’t say that for all sports, however. In the case of the best tennis tickets, you need to consider all the different factors. Do you want to see the top-ranked players or do you want to see professionals but maybe not want to pay the high price?
Watching the top-ranked players in the world will cost more – supply and demand in action again. You will also pay a lot for the semi-finals and finals matches for both men and women. These, of course, are the most exciting matches to attend. If budget is a serious component to you going to an event try to see early-round matches or quarter-final matches.
Picking the best time to buy tennis tickets is not very easy. You do have several options.
- You can pick up tickets the day of the event assuming the match isn’t a wildly attended event.
- Watch for price drops as superstars get defeated.
- Monitor a certain section of the court seats and see if they fluctuate enough three days prior to the event.
We break buying tennis tickets down in more detail.
One of the most sought after event tickets is Hamilton. Hamilton is one show you don’t want to miss.
We’ve all heard the stories about how expensive these tickets can be. It’s amazing what people will pay to see a show.
Is there a good time to buy Hamilton tickets? Prices will remain constant no matter when you look. Unless you are lucky enough to win the Hamilton lottery, which does exist, you are going to pay a pretty penny for seats. Seat location is definitely a factor when it comes to price. You can learn about the best seats to Hamilton and make a more informed decision.
Here are our Top Five Tips to Buying Hamilton Tickets
- Try and avoid weekend dates – Prices will definitely be higher.
- Waiting for the last minute or day of the event is not recommended.
- Be willing to sit in the middle of the row furthest from an isle.
- Seven to ten days from the day of the event are your peak periods where prices will fluctuate a bit in your favor.
- The savings from sitting stage left or right vs center is astounding. Instant savings and you still get a great view.
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What about the day of the game? Is it a good time to buy tickets on the day of the game or concert? Some people know the tricks of the trade. For the average viewer, this isn’t something you should strive for.
Could you get a deal? SURE. The Odds aren’t in your favor.
For the most part, there are a lot of tickets still available come game day. Sports like basketball, baseball and hockey will have tickets ready for you to purchase the day of. Prices will rise and fall throughout the day.
Ticket sellers will try to get the most amount of money for their tickets. However, there will be some sellers that want to get rid of their tickets and will undercut the rest at a lower price. It’s up to you to find those when they come around. Also, the bigger the stadium the more likely tickets will be ready to purchase the day of the event.
Some Tips to Consider if you Want to Buy Tickets the Day of the Game
- Watch 2-4 sections of seats closely and see if ticket prices change. You can wait for about one hour before each check.
- The better the section the faster the tickets will go.
- If you don’t care about sitting far away and want entry this is a good way to get good seats.
- Don’t try to get aisle seats. These will be the most expensive.
- If you really want to go to the game, suck it up and make the purchase so you don’t get left out.
We recently watched ticket prices for an NBA basketball game on a Thursday night. The game started at 9:30 eastern time. We selected six different sections all with a great view of the court. These were probably some of the more expensive seats in the arena. Watch how tickets disappeared over the course of the afternoon and evening. You can also see how prices dropped for some sections and seats. These were sellers looking to hold on to the best price but didn’t want to get stuck with their tickets and no sale. This was a marquee match-up and was probably being followed by a lot of different buyers. Some people got good deals, while others may have missed out.
Every year we talk about the best time to get Super Bowl tickets. You can read the latest version here. For the most part, everything remains the same. It always comes down to the match-up. During the playoffs, Super Bowl listings are astronomically high. Ticket sellers are hoping to sell some seats to those who don’t care about price or who is playing. Some people go each year to be part of the experience.
For those savvy of ticket prices, we suggest you wait about 7 days from the game. Initial prices will rise with the supply starting to fade.
Once the initial demand has tapped out a bit, the sellers know to start lowering the prices for the next group.
If you decide you like the match-up or your team is playing you will need some luck to get reasonably priced tickets. Watch the prices as they march up and down and then pull the trigger if you see something good. The odds are the seats you’re looking at will go faster than you can order them.
Here are Some Other Things to Consider
- Weekdays vs. Weekends – This is most likely obvious but maybe not. If you are willing to take the family to a Monday night game vs a Saturday night game you will save a bundle per ticket. On average, games on the weekend will have more chances of selling out than earlier in the week. Start with a Monday but by Wednesday prices will start to rise.
- Aisle Seats – Seats 1-4 coming off the aisle are the most sought after seat at any event. You are more likely to get a better price in the same row if you go after seat 6 or more. Sitting in the middle will get you the best price.
- Single Tickets – This may not be you but single seats are a hot commodity. This is very true for a game. These single-seat buyers like to go after the aisle seat which also makes the seats go up in price.
- One Week Out – This is the money spot when it comes to buying tickets. In terms of the Cheap Seats, you’ll find the lowest prices around this time. For a normal sporting event or concert, he suggests one week out a good place to start. The cheap seats will sell fast so the supply will go down causing an increase in price across the board.
There you have it. The Ultimate Guide and breakdown to finding the best time to buy tickets. No matter the event most strategies remain constant. Try a few of these strategies and see if you can get a better deal. If you stay within a budget and get a great deal, awesome. If you have to go over your budget a little, then don’t worry about it and enjoy the event you plan to attend. Check back for updates about the best time to buy tickets. For now, enjoy the time at your live event.