You are finally taking that long-anticipated trip to the Big Apple. Your “to-do” list contains a variety of historic sights, famous eateries, museums, shopping, and, of course, a Broadway show! So, how exactly does a visitor to (or curious resident of) this great city score affordable tickets to famous productions? Though most tickets cost over $100 each, there are various ways to getting serious savings when it comes to catching a Broadway show…or two!

1. TKTS Booths

Those who are searching for a discounted ticket should make NY’s famous TKTS Booth their first stop. With various locations throughout the city, you can snag up to 50 percent off for same-day tickets, or between 25 and 50 percent off for advance tickets. Broadway show tickets vary at these booths from hour to hour. If you decide to visit a booth, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to wait in line at least an hour or two.

2. Consider Standing Room

Inquire about Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets, which are either available immediately when the Broadway box office opens or within a few hours before the start time of the performance. These tickets can be snagged for $25-35 each. To save time, call the box office directly and ask about SRO for the specific production you had in mind. “Standing Room Only” means you will get a numbered space, equal to the size of a regular seat, that is located almost always in the back of the orchestra.

3. Catch the Rush

Rush ticket rules are similar to SRO and are usually held for students with a valid ID or those who take part in a ticket lottery. One student ID, however, can purchase two tickets. Prices average around $25 dollars and tickets need to be purchased as soon as the box office opens.

An extra tip for those considering Rush or SRO tickets – bring cash, as this is the only form of payment most box offices accept.

4. Visit the NYC Info Center

The Official NYC Visitor Information Center-Midtown is located at 810 Seventh Ave at 53rd Street. They are open seven days a week and even on holidays. The Visitor Center is a great place to find discount coupons for select shows.

5. Box Office Direct Savings

If you have a specific show you must see, forego unnecessary surcharges and handling fees by buying your tickets directly at the box office of the theater.

6. Broadway.com

This handy website is a service of Theatre Direct International and has an “Offers” tab with a drop-down menu. On this menu is a “Last Minute Deals” page that offers some show tickets at an average of 25 percent off.

7. Be a Volunteer Usher

Many Broadway theatres count on volunteer ushers to help guests to their seats and perform other various duties. Call the box office for their requirements and dress code, make an advance reservation, and show up approximately 1.5–2 hours before the show begins. The house manager will debrief you, and after you show theatregoers to their seats, you get to relax and enjoy a free production! When the show is over, you may be asked to stay for a little while to help pick up lost items, etc.

8. Other Discounts

In addition to Broadway shows, there are some other terrific production venues throughout NYC that have amazing discount options. Here are just a few:

  • Attention Opera Lovers – The Metropolitan Opera offers SRO tickets for the following week’s performances on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Line up with regulars outside of the box office at least an hour early. Tickets are priced between $15-$20 dollars, and they accept cash only. 
Students ages 29 and under can also purchase tickets at a discounted rate to select shows. ID is required, and prices range from $25-35 each.
  • Celebrate Carnegie Hall – Didn’t think going to a Carnegie Hall concert for close to nothing was possible? Thanks to a select number of partial-view tickets for only $10, it is! These same-day tickets go on sale at noon and have a limit of two per person. Cash only.
  • Embrace the NY Philharmonic – If you are 62 or over, are disabled, or a student with valid ID, you are eligible to purchase $10 tickets on the day of select performances. These tickets are available at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office and have a limit of two per person. You can call ahead to learn more about availability, just remember, tickets are not available for Saturday night or Friday matinee performances.

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2 thoughts on “How to Save on Broadway Tickets”

  1. Davidvolk says:

    I love the TKTS booth, but found myself attending a conference in NYC wanting to see Tom Hanks in “Lucky Guy” on the day of the show. I tried TKTS and they didn’t have any tickets. I also stopped by the theater and asked if there were any single seat tickets and was quoted a price of $300, way out of my price range. So, I went back to TKTS booth, got tix for a cheaper play that sounded fun (“Born With Teeth,” a retelling of Richard the III as a cocktail party. cost: $18) and decided to stop by and see if there were last minute rush tix for lucky guy on the way to Born With Teeth. After all, I would have only been out $18 and that’s cheap by Broadway standards.

    As luck would have it, when I stopped back by an hour before the show, I was told they had standing room tickets for $27. I jumped at the chance and saw a great play for far less than the original price I’d been quoted or even the regular $90 price tag.

    I figure I spent $45 and saved anywhere from $45 to $255.

    And the play was so good, I barely noticed that I’d spent more than two hours on my feet.

    One other thing worth mentioning: TKTS now has separate lines for musicals and regular, non-musical plays. So, if you want to save some time. Pick a non-musical and you’ll get through the much shorter line, much faster.

    David Volk
    Author, “The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Seattle.”