Ticket Buying Guide by Ultimate Sports Fan, Andrew
Sold Out Games
Everyday games can have as much hype as a Championship game or a playoff game depending on a number of factors. These games are sold out but prices may vary greatly depending on the day of the week, the opponent and game time. These varying prices will determine whether that regular season game is in high or low demand. While both steps of attending a game in high demand or low demand are the same, the decision point of when to buy is slightly different.
High demand regular season games are similar to playoff games. The game is sold out and initial secondary ticket market prices are high. These games are normally sold out as soon as tickets go on sale to the general public. For these events, I recommend buying tickets as soon as they go on sale. However, if the event is sold out before you can buy tickets, I recommend waiting to buy and showing up at the stadium or arena to get the cheapest price the day of the game (at this point tickets may even be less than face value but the savings is not worth taking the risk).
Of course, you must do research before you go out on game day. Meaning you should have an estimated price of how much you are willing to pay.
The steps in buying tickets for a sold out regular season game are similar to championship or playoff games.
1) Log onto StubHub.com and Craigslist.org to get a general sense of the market. However, do not buy your tickets ahead of time unless you are attending the event with more than four people. It is sometimes difficult to find more than four tickets together for a sold out event.
2) Now that you have your price range of what you expect to pay you can now expect to pay about 10-25% less at the stadium than ahead of time.
3) Follow the negotiating steps in Everyday Games and save money from what you would have paid from buying a few days (or weeks) ahead of time.
An example of this game, when the Cubs play the Pirates during the summer instead of the Cardinals the same is sold out but none of your friends are interested in going. Unless you are going with a large party you never want to buy your tickets in advance. But the steps are quite similar between a sold out game with low demand and a sold out game with high demand. The main difference is that you will save more money buying tickets to a low demand game outside of the stadium. In fact, you will probably pay under face value, but it will take some confidence and patience in order to do so.
Once again for sold out games you should do research before the game. Execute the research you would do for a championship or playoff game, but negotiate outside the stadium as you would for an everyday game. The research you conduct before the game will show you that you would never want to buy tickets from the team as tickets on StubHub or eBay will be less than face value already. This occurs because fans overbought ahead of time for the game and either friends or family are unable to attend.
Do not be discouraged to attend sold out sporting events. Do research before the event, understand the market and negotiate your way into events you never thought you could attend in the first place.