Looking for Show Tickets While Visiting NYC? Avoid These 6 Mistakes and Scams

Psst, tourists: Here's a little street savvy.

Getting tickets to the hottest show of the moment or long-time favorite can be tough for visitors to New York City — but frustrating as it may be, it's not impossible.

The early birds get the best seats as Broadway deals are all about inventory: As Broadway inbound domestic sales manager Peter Waugh says, "If you are traveling to New York to fulfill your dreams of seeing a show on the Great White Way like Tony Awards 2017 Best Musical Nominee Groundhog Day, you don’t necessarily want to see just anything — you’ve probably planned this experience out and have the perfect show in mind. If you wait until you’ve arrived to book your tickets, the show may have sold out or you could end up paying far too much on the secondary market for potentially lousy seats," he says.

So here's the top takeaway: "Book early to guarantee the experience lives up to your dreams.”
Beyond that, here are a few more quick tips and pitfalls to avoid so you neither miss out on your dream show — nor get scammed in the process of trying to score those coveted tickets.

1.  Avoid TKTS.

Standing in line for this booth is a waste of time if you're looking for the truly top tickets. Even if you get to the front, you may likely miss your chance to score one of the limited-availability tickets to your chosen event.

2.  Skip the lottery.


There are limited tickets and no guarantee, so don't count on luck. 

3.  Think outside the weekends.

Everyone wants to see a show on the weekends so keep a weeknight free and expect a lighter crowd and demand. 

4.  Rush tickets might not be for you.

Rush tickets are reserved specially for students. If you're trying to snag tickets for a family, note there's a limit of two at a time.

5.  Steer away from scalpers.

Don't become a statistic among so many tourists victimized with fake tickets or price hikes. 

6.  Avoid last-minute apps.

You probably won't find your favorite, or the most Tony-nominated shows, on apps. Waugh suggests some alternates: “There are a lot of different ways to source Broadway tickets, and more options seem to crop up every day. Telecharge and Ticketmaster are the two official sources for tickets direct from the venue. There are other trustworthy sources, but they may be offering tickets at a higher price, as they are a reseller. One very reliable way to book is via a travel source, such as a trusted tour company, travel agent, or online travel company such as Expedia. In many cases these sources are working directly with the venue owners to provide tickets that are meant to be packaged with other travel necessities and may have ancillary benefits such as points to use on your next trip.”

Of course, if your show plans still don't pan out in the end, you could always check out these great under-the-radar NYC destinations for an alternative itinerary!

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