Getting to the Game

Sunday night’s game is going to be a tough ticket to get a hold of.

The Giants/Colts matchup is a marquee game. I’m sure lots of New York fans will be scrounging for tickets.  I’ve been asked several times to write about the process of getting tickets to Colts games.  Though we have season tickets, we’ve done more than our fair share of ticket hustling (buying and selling) over the years. The following is a crash course to buying Colts tickets.

Option 1: Buy from the Box Office

Ok, so this isn’t much of an option, especially not for a big game.  Still, against lesser teams, there are often some tickets returned to the Colts at the last minute.  If you pay attention on Fridays, you can occasionally catch word that a few hundred tickets have been made available.  If you want the best price/safest transaction possible go this route.  It’s tough to get though.

Option 2: Scalp at the Stadium

Ticket scalping has a bad rep (and is highly illegal) in many parts of the country, but is a time honored Indianapolis tradition.  I’ve bought and sold tickets on the street more times than I can count.  Technically, to sell tickets in Indy, you need a peddlers license, so be careful.  Frankly, I’ve never understood ‘no scalping’ laws.  It’s un-American to not engage in free trade. Still, selling tickets downtown can net you either a good price or a citation.  Like I said, I’ve done it, but you have to understand the risks.  Because of the 500, Indy is a scalpers paradise.  You aren’t really an Indy sports fan if you never rolled the dice and bought a ticket off a shady guy with a cardboard sign.  Again, it’s not necessarily illegal…it’s just risky.

Scalping can land you incredible deals IF you find the right guy.  Look for the guy who is selling his own tickets.  Private ticket holders are nervous.  They just want to get some money and get out.  We pulled this off back in 1998 and landed two tickets to game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Pacers and Bulls.  The professional ticket scalpers are going to squeeze you for every dollar they can.  Don’t buy tickets without a seating chart handy either.

My favorite scalping story was when I was unloading a couple of preseason tickets one year.  I got $10 bucks for them (hey, it paid for parking), and the pro scalper whipped out a HUGE wad of cash from his pocket, and counted me off 10 singles after peeling through hundreds and fifties.  Then something blew from his hand.  “MY FOOD STAMPS!” he yelled!  I tracked them down.  He was thankful.

Don’t take any of this as an endorsement of buying tickets off the street.  I’m not looking to get sued.  There are two huge problems with scalping.  The first is that the transaction is totally unsecure.  You can get sold a fake ticket and then you are out your money.  I’ve never had this happen, but it can.  If you buy from a guy on the street, you are taking a massive risk.

The second problem is the premium.  For a big game, you are going to pay big money down by the Luke.  It can be tough to get into the game without shelling out hundreds of dollars. Back in the day when barely 50,000 came to the dome, scalping was the way to go.  For five or ten bucks, you could score a seat at the last minute.  It’s just not like that anymore.  If you are out $10 bucks on fake ticket, it’s a bummer but doesn’t ruin your week.  If you drop $500 and get screwed, you will regret it for years.  The bigger the game, the worse of an option street scalping becomes.

Option 3: TiqIQ

The most secure way to buy second hand tickets is from a reputable online ticket broker like Stubhub.  You don’t have to carry wads of cash, and your transaction is protected against fraud.  Some of them even have the option to print the tickets out on line, meaning you can pull off game day or night before transactions.  The problem is that there are lots of ticket services out there, and hunting for the best price can be time consuming.  Each service also charges different fees.  Some charge the seller, some the buyer, and some on both ends.  The bottom line is that with online brokers, you are often paying a premium for the security and ease of the transaction.  That makes getting the best deal all the more important.

That’s where TiqIQ comes in.  They’ve just partnered with 18to88 to provide links to the second hand ticket market for Colts games.  TiqIQ doesn’t actually sell you the tickets.  They aggregate all the major online ticket vendors to give you a snap shot of current prices.  You then click the ticket you want, and they send you to the appropriate vendor.  TiqIQ is awesome because they show you how much above or below face and average price you are paying for the ticket.

Instead of checking out five online sites trying to compare prices, you can do it all from the comfort of 18to88.com.  I almost wrote this store a month ago because a reader was begging for it, but I ran out of time.  Last week, I got an email about the new partnership with TiqIQ.  After checking out the link (which you can see just below our banner), I was blown away.  This is an incredible service.  They aren’t selling you anything.  They are just showing you what the pricing schemes are.

If you want to go to the Giants game on Sunday night, try out TiqIQ, and you’ll find the best deal. You’ll also help out 18to88.com.  What can beat that?  Again, TiqIQ is not selling anything.  They are just telling you what is for sale by reputable ticket vendors. If you are planning on buying tickets on line, make the link on our banner your first stop.

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