Various ways to get discount tickets to Hamilton, which is now the hottest show ticket on Broadway.
How To Get A Discount Ticket To Hamilton
Here’s what everyone wants to know: how do you get a ticket to a Broadway show that is so out-of-control in popularity and pricing that it seems out of reach for eternity? Face value tickets are supposed to start at $139 and premium seats at $549, but they are never available. Some secondary-market tickets are now being sold by ticket brokers for $2,500 per ticket, but even that number is expected to rise in coming months. With the prices skyrocketing, getting a ticket at just face value can be considered a discount.
Basically, there are three kinds of tickets for Hamilton: Face value tickets (Sold-out solidly for the next nine months), secondary-market tickets (Where ticket brokers are asking for huge sums of money) and lottery tickets (at just $10 a ticket). But there other options:
10 - The Online Ticket Lottery for $10
This is the most popular method of getting a discount ticket to Hamilton, but it is also the least successful. With over 25,000 people applying for the online ticket lottery every day, there are only 21 tickets given out for just $10, so the odds of winning this lottery are 1250:1 - not very strong odds. The ticket lottery is our least favorite option, as you will always lose an oversubscribed lottery. The odds were much better when the lottery was done on the street, before neighbors and the NYPD forced it to go online. By going online, it opened the ticket lottery up to thousands of working stiffs, who have nothing better to do at work than to enter the lottery as many times as they can.
9 - The In-Person Ticket Lottery for $10
The in-person lottery is only done on Wednesday matinees when most people are at work or school. This was done to avoid a large crowd in front of the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The entry number is not as large as the online ticket lottery, usually about 500 people, but the odds of winning are still not stellar. If you don’t win, the best part of the in-person lottery is the short performances Lin Manuel Miranda puts on outside the theatre, which are called Ham4Ham, an experience you really cannot really appreciate online, it is an in-person experience.
8 - See the Touring, Chicago Show or London Show Instead
Taking a leaf out of The Book of Mormon Guide to Taking Your Hit Broadway Show on The Road While It Is Still Running on Broadway, Hamilton is setting up another permanent (albeit just for 2 years) show in Chicago and will also run a touring production of the show. The tickets for Hamilton’s permanent show in Chicago and the national tour are expected to be lower in price, when compared to the permanent Broadway show in New York City. It is expected that the tickets will still be very popular, but not as crazy as the New York ticket market. They are, however, expected to sell out, but ticket brokers will not be able to manipulate the out-of-control ticket pricing the way they have been able to leverage in the NYC market as there will be less demand outside NYC. For these shows, we recommend to be on the lookout for tickets within minutes of their release, to snag a ticket before they are all gone. If you miss this ticket-buying window, then secondary-market tickets are expected to be available at twice the price of face value.
7 - Buying a Face-Value Ticket 9 Months in Advance From The Box Office
The box office at the Richard Rodgers Theatre often has face-value tickets to the show for 9 months in advance; these are tickets that are never seen on the Ticketmaster website and can only be bought from the box office in person. Ticketmaster just tends to have secondary-market tickets from its ticket brokerage, TicketsNow, which runs at 3-4 times the face value of tickets. If the box office does not have any face-value tickets available, they will let you know what the next day is when they will have them. There will be a line of people waiting for those tickets to be sold at that allotted time. Expect to get to the box office at least five hours ahead of the announced time. Remember, these are tickets for nine months in the future, and you will be there with all the ticket brokers and their runners buying up whatever ticket inventory they possibly can.
6 - Getting a House Seat In The Orchestra For $167
Many people who are connected with the Broadway industry are allowed to purchase house seats for Hamilton directly from the producer for the face value price. House tickets can vary in price between $167 and $275, they are often the best seats in the house, and they are available right up until the day of the performance. You must be professionally associated with the Broadway industry and can only garner these tickets directly from the producer of the show, not the box office.
5 - Cancellation Tickets Line - Unsold House, Regular and Premium Seats
At the theatre there is a cancellation ticket line. Although they are called “cancellation tickets,” the reality is that most of the tickets sold on this line are unsold “house seats” that were not given or sold to members of the press or Broadway theatre industry professionals. These tickets are sold to people who wait on the line and are sold for $177. The same is true of any unsold regular tickets, but they are much rarer, given that people are far less likely to cancel their regular tickets for this show given its popularity. Unsold premium tickets are also offered to people on line during the day for $477, but are mostly declined and they usually end up in the hands of a ticket broker who can sell it on for more to hotel concierges. Each day, about 10-16 premium tickets (these are the best seats in the theatre) are sold this way. Somewhere between 2 hours to 5 minutes prior to the performance, people who wait on the cancellation line are offered the unsold house and unsold regular tickets. Some people often wait on the line for as long as 28 hours to be at the front, but at other times the line can be as short as 4 hours. Professional services exist that will wait on this line for you, and they charge $20 per hour. Some craigslist people, usually theatre students, will do it for less.
4 - Cancellation Tickets Line - Unclaimed Lottery and Standing Room Only (SRO) Tickets
Some unclaimed lottery tickets turn up at the cancellation ticket line for $167. This is when people win the online lottery, pay $10 for each ticket and do not turn up to collect them. People who wait on the “cancellation tickets” line and were unsuccessful are often offered Standing Room Only tickets for $40. Each day, there are up to 21 of these tickets up for grabs (sometimes less if industry buys these tickets). The sales of SRO tickets allow the show to operate at 101.55% of its capacity. This is a dilemma for people who have already waited over 24 hours to just buy the SRO tickets. Instead, they will often choose to stay on the line - extending their stay to 48 hours (or less if the following day has a matinee) - in order to get better seats for the following day. People who have been on the line for less time will usually go for these SRO tickets, as long as they have the physical ability to stand for the whole show, sometimes getting an unclaimed seat if an usher puts them there.
3 - Enter the TDF Raffle for Hamilton Tickets
The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) offers a raffle for two weekday tickets to Hamilton. They ask for a $5 donation to enter, but they also provide a more complicated method that allows a person to enter for free, so that they do not break the New York Lottery Laws. This ticket raffle can be found at raffle.tdf.org.
2 - Second-Acting
Amazingly, a small percentage of Broadway patrons actually do not enjoy Hamilton, and decide to leave at intermission. Made famous by NBC’s “The Office,” Second -Acting is the process of using an exiting patron's ticket, and just seeing the second act of the show. Hamilton tickets are so expensive that the original people can often be seen selling their ticket outside the theatre at the intermission for around $50. The theatre management does not like this practice, but it is within a grey area of rights for the original ticket buyer to do this. The old practice of sneaking back in for free with the smokers at intermission is long gone, especially for a show that is 100% sold out every night, because where would you even sit?
1 - Be Brave and Refuse To See Hamilton Until The Show Lowers Its Ticket Prices
Some Broadway patrons are rejecting the sheep mentality of flocking to the latest Broadway hit when the hype forces the ticket prices to get out-of-control. Ticket brokers leverage the popularity of the show, and manipulate the ticket market to make huge profits. Much like The Dutch Tulip Bubble of 1637, ticket brokers leverage the scarcity of certain Broadway show tickets and over-hype the show to take it into uncharted pricing territory where they can make a killing. The producers of this show could stop the ticket brokers manipulation in a “New York second,” by demanding names on tickets and government ID at the door, or even by using the Ticketmaster Verified Fan ticket service, that assures that the tickets have not been resold but the Hamilton producers often ride the wave of profits for themselves, through the expectation of “a rising tide floats all boats.” Some of the actions of many ticket brokers would be illegal in the stock market, but they continue to mar the Broadway industry with their less-than-reputable sales straetgies. This is not the first time this has happened, dare we say The Book of Mormon anyone? Consumers often get fleeced and the Broadway industry does little to curb it, while riding the wave to their own personal glory and riches.
Discount Tickets To Hamilton on Broadway:
It could be years before Broadway’s Hamilton becomes less popular and prices return to their fair market-value. It could also take a while before the ticket brokers have moved onto hyping the next big thing on Broadway, but in the meantime, we hope that some of these strategies may have helped you in the process of getting your Hamilton tickets for less than an arm and a leg.