Hey, baseball fans! Are you ready for another season of cheering on your favorite team? If the analysts are to be believed, the 2018 campaign is going to be a special one.
Though spring training is over and games are already underway, it’s still a good idea to get yourself prepared. If you plan on seeing your team in person – especially if you want to do so frequently – an important part of that is knowing where, when, and how you’re going to get your tickets. To that end, we’ve compiled this guide of tips for saving your seats – and your money – when visiting the ballpark. We’ll cover:
- The 5 best ways to buy baseball tickets online
- The 5 best websites and apps to buy cheap baseball tickets
- 7 tips for buying cheap baseball tickets online
Alright, let’s get started on helping you get your fix of diamonds, dugouts, and bullpens!
The 5 best ways to buy baseball tickets online
1. The MLB website
If you’re looking for baseball tickets, you can always go straight to the source. MLB.com features the full schedule of all the games played by all the teams throughout the season, along with a quick view of promotions that may be happening at each game.
Why it’s a good choice: You get guaranteed legitimate tickets quickly (that can be printed out or scanned), especially for single games if you’re going to be in an area and just feel like seeing a ball game.
2. The MLB Ballpark app
If you have an account on MLB.com, you can also get your tickets on the go with the MLB Ballpark app! Available for Android and iOS devices, MLB Ballpark lets you purchase, manage, and even upgrade digital tickets to games for some clubs.
Why it’s a good choice: The app can also give you virtual ballpark tours, team stats and highlights, player and ballpark soundtracks, club promotions, ballpark and parking directions – everything you need to have a great experience at your favorite team’s ballpark!
3. Team websites
Of course, if you have a favorite local team, their website likely has lots of different ways to purchase admission to games. A team’s website is also where you’ll find more detailed information on any promotions or special events they’re holding at specific games, as well as general discount offers. Click here for links to the specials offered by each team, or click below to find tickets for some of your favourite MLB teams!
Why it’s a good choice: This allows you to purchase season tickets or other bulk ticket packages to watch your team play at multiple times through the year (and we’ll explain why this can be a good idea later in our tips section). It also directs you to a licensed ticket dealer that won’t sell you fake tickets.
4. Primary ticket outlets
One of the safest options for buying tickets is getting them from a primary ticket seller. These are companies that are hired directly by ballparks and teams to sell tickets on their behalf. Lots of other event venues and promotion companies rely on them, too. Ticketmaster.com is one of the most recognizable ones, though there are others.
Why it’s a good choice: Since the tickets these dealers sell come straight from teams or their ballparks, they’re guaranteed legit.
5. Ticket resale markets
Finally, ticket resale markets like StubHub.com (and even general online marketplaces like eBay.com) are becoming an increasingly common avenue for buying baseball tickets. Fans who can’t make it to the ballpark will often list their tickets on these websites in an attempt to get at least some money out of them. However, be aware that these venues are more vulnerable to scammers than the other options. We’ll have some tips on avoiding those kinds of pitfalls a bit later.
Why it’s a good choice: This is often the only way to get tickets last-minute or to sold-out games. You may also be able to get a bargain from someone who can’t make it to a game and so is desperately trying to recoup some of the cost of their tickets.
Those are some general places on the Internet where it’s easy and convenient to get baseball tickets. So which ones are the cream of the crop when it comes to getting tickets for cheap? Here are the top 5 most popular picks.
The 5 best websites and apps to buy cheap baseball tickets
StubHub.com is the official ticket resale partner of the MLB, so it’s easier to get cheap baseball tickets here than on some other ticket resale sites. Plus, joining their rewards program allows you to store up credits with your purchases. Earn enough credits, and you can get “Fan Codes” that you can apply to future purchases to save even more cash.
SeatGeek.com is kind of like a search engine for tickets. While it does allow ticket resale, its claim to fame is its ability to compare the prices of ticket listings across several online outlets. Even if there aren’t that many listings to compare, SeatGeek’s “DealScore” algorithm will weigh the cost of tickets against the quality of seats and how in-demand the particular game is. That way, you have an idea as to whether you’re getting a bargain or should shop around some more.
As one of the largest primary ticket outlets in North America, Ticketmaster.com is a perfectly legitimate choice for getting baseball tickets online. It can be a good option if you’re worried about getting legitimate tickets, or find that ticket prices on resale markets are getting inflated beyond proportion. However, Ticketmaster has a lot of selling fees attached to its ticket sales, so it won’t always be the cheapest pick.
4. Vivid Seats
While VividSeats.com may not be the most user-friendly ticket resale website, its prices are pretty decent. It also has good fan protection guarantees, as well as a great customer service reputation. So it’s one of the better resale companies when it comes to resolving problems and compensating you if something goes wrong. Use it if you want a balance between discounted prices and peace of mind.
Now owned by TicketNetwork.com, ScoreBig.com is another popular choice for getting second-hand baseball tickets. They’re especially good for getting last-minute tickets, as they deal primarily in unsold tickets and can sometimes get you up to 60% off retail price (though, as a resale market, their prices may be over face value sometimes, so keep that in mind.) Interactive seat maps, a secure checkout system, and a 100% money-back guarantee help you get into the game.
So now you know where to go online to get baseball tickets for a bargain. The question is: how do you go about doing it? These five pointers should steer you in the right direction.
7 tips for buying cheap baseball tickets online
1. Avoid advance sales.
Most teams will offer “advance sales” of tickets in February or March, before the season starts. While it may be tempting to use this opportunity to get the best seats before everyone else, remember that the team knows their perennial fans will likely be trying to do the same thing. And this increased demand will almost always mean inflated prices, too. Therefore, it’s probably better to hold off until closer to the start of the season – or after the season has actually started – if you want better prices.
And don’t worry too much about sellouts, even for high-demand games. Most teams will set aside a certain number of tickets from the presale, so people who want to buy through other avenues will still have a chance to enjoy the game.
2. Go to games at off-peak times.
An easy trick to scoring cheap tickets is to order them for games that not as many other fans are likely to attend. For instance, you’re much more likely to get a great deal if you go to a weekday game during the afternoon than if you go at night or over the weekend. Also, if you live in a market where the weather is likely to not be all that baseball-friendly at times, buy tickets for those games anyway. If you’re willing to brave the elements, you’ll often find that you can get seats for a bargain compared to games in the fair-weather summer months, even for those featuring teams with big followings.
3. Skip games against rivals or popular teams.
In general, try to avoid buying single-game tickets to games where your team plays against one of their big local rivals, or a team with a widespread fan base. It’s more likely that fans will come from out-of-town to see these games, and the increased demand will usually mean higher ticket prices. Some teams that tend to have this effect include the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Francisco Giants. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, though… well, this tip might not help you much.
4. Get resold tickets on websites with buyer guarantees.
While getting resold tickets can be one of the best ways to get good seats at a cheap price, it can also be an easy way to walk into a scam. For that reason, it’s generally best to avoid getting second-hand tickets through online classified ad sites or general online marketplaces. Instead, stick to the sites that specialize in tickets, as they often have specific guarantees that may compensate you if you end up buying phony tickets through them.
5. Gauge the right time for buying resold tickets.
Online ticket resale markets can be good places to get cheap last-minute baseball tickets. That’s because season ticket holders who can’t attend certain games will often list them on these sites in an attempt to get at least some of their money back. So generally, the closer it is to game time, the lower resale ticket prices will be as ticket holders get more desperate to make a sale. If you take advantage of this dynamic, you can end up getting some real bargains.
Of course, there are other factors to consider, too. How in-demand is the particular game? What quality of seats do you want? How long will it take you to get to the ballpark? Do you mind missing some of the early parts of the game? All of these can play a role in how pricey resale tickets are, as well as how long you may be willing to wait to buy them.
6. Try to verify resold tickets before you buy them.
If you’re buying tickets second-hand, try using some tricks to see if they’re legit or not before you complete the purchase. See if you can find (or request) a picture of what the tickets look like, or other verifying numbers or information that you can easily check against a quick Internet search. If the tickets don’t look official, or their info is duplicated somewhere else online, back out of the deal.
7. Take advantage of ticket package offers.
If you’re planning to visit your favorite team’s ballpark more than a handful of times during the season, see if you can buy a bulk ticket package ahead of time. And even if you aren’t planning to go to games all that often, doing so can still be worth it if you have friends who are fans as well. Split the cost of the ticket pack with them, and then decide amongst yourselves who is going to which games.
There are three major benefits to doing this. First, you’ll almost always end up paying less per ticket than if you bought them for a single game. Second, you can more easily get into high-demand games where tickets would otherwise likely be very expensive and/or hard to find. Third, some clubs will consider you an “honorary” season ticket holder if you buy a big enough package, and that can get you extra perks, like saving money on concessions or merchandise.
Great! Now you’re all set to get great seats at your favorite baseball team’s ballpark without breaking the bank in the process! If you’re looking for more places to get tickets, we have some recommendations for the best places to get concert tickets, as well as some of the best alternatives to StubHub! And we’ve got all sorts of other great tips for saving money in our coupon and discount shopping section! Have fun at the old ‘ball game this summer!