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As more Americans are vaccinated and the number of COVID-19 cases wane, fans are once again starting to go to sports events and concerts. All 30 National Football League (NFL) stadiums have gotten the go-ahead to operate at full capacity, and many National Basketball Association (NBA) arenas can too.
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And some top stars are hitting the road, after nearly two years of staying home or performing via Zoom. Tickets for Coldplay’s 2022 tour are on sale now; tickets for Bruno Mars' tour in December are on sale, too. And other acts, such as the Tedeschi Trucks Band, are adding dates to their 2022 tours.
If you’re tempted to go see a big game or big name, you’re probably going to pay big bucks. The average price of an NFL ticket is $151, according to SeatGeek, a popular ticket seller. NBA tickets cost an average $94. Concerts cost an average of $96 in 2019, according to the latest data available from Statista, and big names, such as Taylor Swift or Bruce Springsteen, can run way higher.
But you don’t always have to pay that much to see your favorite team or artist. Here are five tips for saving money when you’re trying to get a glimpse of the sports and music stars live and up close.
Normally, you can get the best prices when they first go on sale at the box office. Many times, however, tickets sell out within a few minutes, and that’s often because ticket resellers snatch them up for resale. If you can’t get tickets from the primary source — the box office — then you have to buy them on the secondary market, via resellers such as StubHub, SeatGeek or Gametime. “We tend to see a price spike up until about a week before the game, when prices typically decline,” says Gametime CEO and founder Brad Griffith.
The longer you wait, the cheaper the ticket gets, as sellers become nervous that they will get stuck with worthless inventory. If you buy NFL tickets 30 days before the game, you can expect to pay 10 percent more than average, but the prices will be 40 percent less than average the day before kickoff, according to Gametime.