A lot of college football fans wonder when the best time to buy tickets is. That’s a great question, but unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. However, there are a few general rules that you can follow to know when the best time to grab tickets is. So, whether you’re trying to save money on tickets, or you just want to make sure that you get the best seats possible for the upcoming game, we’ll give you the information that you need to stay informed and get exactly what you’re looking for.
Remember, these are just general rules. They are not always true, but they are most of the time.
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Rule #1: Know the Game
Okay, so this sounds like a silly rule, but it’s first because it’s so important. The importance of the game will determine when the best time to buy tickets is. For example, a high profile game between two nationally ranked teams will sell out long before other types of games will. In fact, they will sell out so quickly that you might even have trouble finding tickets on the secondary market through sites like StubHub. If you do find tickets here, there’s no guarantee that their prices will drop like other, less important games would.
For most college games, you will see prices start to drop severely in the two weeks before the game is held, though. This is because people who have listed their tickets up for sale are getting desperate to save a few bucks and just want some of their money back. Waiting to the last minute can save you money, but it also could be risky. If you’re banking on seeing a game and you wait until the last moment, there’s always a small chance that you won’t be able to find tickets available. This is pretty rare on the big third party ticket sites like SeatGeek, but it does happen.
If you understand the game and its importance, you will have a better idea of when to buy tickets. The more important the game, the earlier you need to start looking if you want a good deal.
Now, for most of the postseason and Bowl games, this is really hard to do. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this. Bowl games are going to be expensive no matter what, and good tickets will always be hard to find. However, the shop early rule still works here. If you know you want to go see the Rose Bowl, look for tickets as soon as they go on sale.
Rule #2: Know the Teams
Let’s face it; some teams are more popular than others. If your favorite team falls into this category, then you already know that it can be tough to find even regular season tickets sometimes. If not, then you need to be prepared. If you’re trying to find tickets to a game against Alabama, they are going to be a lot tougher to find for this game than others. This will ultimately impact when the best time to buy tickets is. The rule above still applies here, but for the most part, prices will start to drop about two weeks before the game. This is when people get nervous that their tickets won’t sell.
Again, for the big games, ticket prices won’t drop until a few hours before kickoff. At this point, people just want to recoup some of their losses and are willing to give a discount. However, because these are big games, demand will be up pretty high and it will be harder to find the seats that you want. This is a calculated risk that you might have to take, though. Sometimes just seeing the game is more important than saving money is.
Rule #3: Be Willing to Look
The rules that we have here are all generalities. Ticket prices tend to fall into these categories, but not every single ticket site or the game will mirror the rules precisely. The more you look for tickets though, the more that you will find that these rules hold true. This is why it’s so important that you use a variety of different resources. This means accessing ticket sites in a number of different ways and looking at several different websites. All of the major sites have mobile apps available, making it a lot easier to search for tickets more often.
The trick to getting the best deals on tickets is to set up alerts through mobile apps. Turn push notifications on for StubHub, SeatGeek, and whatever other ticket sites you are using. This will allow you to see when tickets go on sale for your favorite team, and then give you more control over what you will spend on the tickets that you want the most. For example, if you want 50-yard line tickets for a Penn State game, you are going to have a tough time finding these tickets within a couple of weeks before the game. Even when Penn State is struggling, this is going to be almost impossible to find this close to game time. Setting notification on your phone will give you an edge over everyone else that is looking for these specific tickets at this late point.
When you have more than one ticket app downloaded on your phone, then you can extend your reach even further. The more tools you have working for you, the better your chances of getting the tickets that you want will become.
Rule #4: Use Your Resources
There are a number of other tips and tricks for getting access to cheap college football tickets. If you’re an alumnus of a university, joining their Alumni Association will allow you to get access to tickets before the general public. Or, if you’re friends with an alumnus, they can do the same for you.
Many of the Bowl games have a lottery system for buying tickets, too. If you are interested in seeing these games, applying to be part of the lottery can give you tickets that you might otherwise never be able to find. Figuring this out well ahead of time can get you those hard to find tickets with a lot more ease.
College football tickets are a hot commodity, especially for the big-name teams. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get tickets, though. In fact, using these tips, you can find the tickets that you want with more ease, even close to kickoff. It’s not a foolproof method but sticking to these rules will drastically improve your chances of getting great seats to the big game.