I happened to be out in St. Louis last Friday night when game six took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. When I realized that the game would take place as the same time my travels had me in town, I decided to go on to StubHub to see what the prices looked like to get a ticket. It seems as if concerts and sporting events go live in today’s world, you can’t even get a ticket direct anymore. The ticket brokers are the only place you can actually buy a ticket unless you want to scalp the good old fashioned way. When the prices came up minimally at $100 a ticket for ‘standing room only’ and went as high as $2,700 for front row type seats, all of a sudden the local bar at Gio’s didn’t seem to be such a bad idea. So, how can you save money when shopping for sporting tickets? Here are six smart money moves you need to know.
- Do A Mini-Package– We all can’t afford season tickets to a major sports team, let alone most of us don’t want to see 81 games of baseball anyway. Consider doing a mini package for part of the season which will put you right in the center of all of the information on tickets around upcoming games.
- Join The Fan Club– This can sometimes cost a nominal fee of $25 to $50, but you’ll often be first in line through e-mail offers or access to ticketing before it goes live to the public.
- Find Out Who Is A Raving Fan– Unfortunately the make of someone’s car or the size of their house won’t give you data as to whether they are a season ticket holder or not. Get to know the people around you who have tickets because whether it’s them or someone they know, they might have contacts to get you a hook up.
- Advertise– I’ve learned this one first hand. This won’t help you if you are an individual, but for business owners advertising on radio or TV will get you access to the media companies closet of tickets. Entertainment is big in the media and advertising business, so they will have access to almost anything you want.
- Do EBay Or Craigslist Before A Ticket Broker– If you don’t want to pay ridiculous markup, try buying from a real human being first. You still need to be careful on these websites to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate person, but you can often find yourself a better deal than a ticket broker.
- Visit a “Scalp Free” Zone– Not all stadiums have this, but at Fenway Park in Boston they have a scalp free zone where individuals can buy and sell tickets but the face value cannot change on the ticket. Don’t you wish all stadiums had a place like this so you aren’t hassled on the street while walking to the game?
What is the most you’ve ever paid for a ticket to a sporting event?
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®, is co-CEO of oXYGen Financial and is a top ranked personal finance blogger (www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com). He is a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS.