Ticket Buying: Entertainment, Sports, and Movies
We look for everything online, and tickets to events and performances are no exception. Whether you want to see the Super Bowl or Any Given Sunday, if a ticket is required for it, you can buy it online. Below, we’ve recommended the best and most trusted sites for purchasing sports, concert, theater, special events, and movie tickets.
While camping out overnight to wait for concert tickets can be a unique adventure, there are more comfortable alternatives. Tickets for special events, concerts, theater, and sporting events can be purchased online, and the variety of vendors increases your chances of finding what you want. While the two main online box offices are Ticketmaster and Telecharge.com, there are numerous sites for brokers, resale, and discount codes that can help you get the seats you covet.
- Note that after an online box office finds tickets for you, you have a limited amount of time to buy them. Look at a map of the venue or call your friend before you search for tickets, so you can make a decision before the purchase window timer expires.
- USA TODAY briefs you on the latest trends in ticket sales. The article focuses on the way tickets are sold online, and it also sheds light on special packages and VIP passes.
For the main online box offices …
sells tickets to almost all major events, including special events, concerts, theater, and sporting events. Search by event, venue, or category. TicketWeb
, a smaller division of Ticketmaster, is a portal for venues and promoters who manage their box offices online themselves. It’s a good source for smaller venues and museums.
does everything that Ticketmaster does, but the two sites don’t always sell tickets to the same events. For example, some Broadway shows are sold through Ticketmaster; others go through Telecharge.com. Telecharge.com Marketplace
is the site’s resale division; unlike TicketExhange, which lists tickets at fixed prices, it’s run as an auction.
For ticketing brokers …
lists available tickets from multiple online ticket brokers. Use this site if you need tickets immediately and money is no object; it’s not a site where you’re likely to get a deal. However, TicketsBoxUSA.com is a solid first choice given its breadth.
For smaller ticket brokers …
Coast To Coast Tickets
ostensibly lists the same types of events as TicketsBoxUSA.com, but it’s only an individual broker, which means you may find a smaller selection. Find last-minute tickets or sign up for discount updates
via e-mail. The company offers a 100% money-back guarantee if there is a problem with your tickets.
is a service similar to Coast To Coast Tickets. Make use of links to sites that offer travel packages if you’re attending an event not in your hometown. Or explore RazorGator’s Fan2Fan Ticket Exchange
to become a seller through the site.
For ticket resale by individuals …
, the well-known auction site, is especially good for finding tickets to the event that sold out right away. However, you'll probably pay more than face value, and popular auctions tend to drive the price up even higher.
is sponsored by eBay and allows people to resell tickets they’ve already purchased, which sometimes results in a discount for the buyer. Although eBay is usually run as an auction (with the exception of “Buy It Now” items), StubHub tickets are listed at a flat rate.
is one of the largest online classified ad services. Search under the “for sale” section for your city, and you might find tickets to an event you've been dying to see. Craigslist doesn’t offer buyer protection, so make sure you trust your seller.
is one of the main companies that manufactures “print-at-home tickets” for venues. Learning how this technology works is especially comforting for those who are still skeptical of any ticket without a stub.
If you frequent the movies, you’ve seen many ads for telephone and Internet presales of tickets. Below you’ll find our top two choices for movie ticket sites, useful for both buying tickets and finding showtimes.
- When you buy a ticket online, you’re probably going to be charged a small booking fee in addition to the ticket price. Also be sure to note whether you have to print the ticket at home or collect it at the theater.
- If you’re picking up a ticket at the theater, make sure to bring the credit card you used for the purchase with you to the theater; you’ll need that card to confirm your ID or retrieve tickets from the machine.
provides information and movie reviews, lists showtimes, finds theaters, and sells tickets. Review the site’s “Help
” page if you’re new to buying tickets online. Or just dive in: the site’s material is well presented, and instructions are easy to follow. Sign up for an account to opt for express checkout, which saves your billing information.
allows you to search for nearby theaters by zip code, or search for a specific film. Find a list of all theaters that sell tickets online, and then a list of theaters that don’t sell tickets online, but display movies and showtimes. Fandango and MovieTickets.com each only sell tickets to specific theaters; the advantage to MovieTickets.com is that you can see what your other options are in case you want to buy tickets at the theater. Sign up for a free membership to purchase tickets and to save your favorite theaters.
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