Neon Signs on Broadway in New York City
Things to do

Things to do in NYC: How to Buy Discounted Broadway Tickets

Attending a Broadway Show is a ‘New York’ as it gets! Our NYC Visitor Blog article, Things to do in NYC: How to Buy Discounted Broadway Tickets, gives tips and tricks that will help you buy tickets to see the plays you want.

May 15, 2019

NYC is the city of lights; excitement and it has an energy all its own and Times Square is the center of the action and activity.  The instant you walk into Times Square you see the brightly light and colorful billboards calling out to you to see their Broadway Show.  All the top shows, new and older Broadway Shows are represented.  

Attending a Broadway Show while visiting New York is a top visitor activity of course but the tickets to these shows can be a bit pricey.  It used to be that unless you knew someone in the cast of a Broadway Show who can get you tickets or discounted tickets, well you were out of luck.

But that is no longer the case. Now there are several ways to save on buying Broadway tickets.

Dancers on Stage Performing a Musical
Attending a Broadway Show is a ‘New York’ as it gets!

This NYC Visitors Blog article ‘Things to do in NYC: How to Buy Discounted Broadway Tickets’ – will share with you how to save on tickets to the Broadway Shows you want to see!  

TKTS Booth:
If you have spent any time in Times Square at all you have seen the crowds of people lining up at the TKTS booth to acquire tickets for Broadway Shows.  The TKTS Booth is located at 47th Street and Broadway and has been offering tickets for over 40 years.  

The Times Square location is open daily at 3:00 p.m., or late morning on the day that have matinee shows.  There are TKTS booths located in Brooklyn and at South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan as well as in Brooklyn.

As you can imagine, the earlier you arrive in line at the TKTS booth, the  better your chances of getting the tickets you want at a decent to great discount.  Keep in mind that blocks of decent tickets are released later in the day, closer to show time. 

How much can you save? Sometimes the discounts can be significant from 20% to 50% for Off-Broadway and on Broadway tickets.  

Red Seats in a Theater
It used to be that unless you knew someone in the cast of a Broadway Show who can get you tickets or discounted tickets, well you were out of luck.

TKTS Booth Tips:

  • First, download the TKTS App.  Having this App gives you valuable updates and discounts on Broadway shows and tickets.  The App allows you to purchase up to 6 tickets and there is a fee of up to $6.00 per ticket which is much less than the fees charged by most other websites that offer Broadway Show tickets for sale.
  • Try other locations other than the Times Square location.  There is a TKTS Booth at South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan, and at Lincoln Center as well as the Brooklyn location. These other locations will have shorter lines of customers and they will sell Matinee tickets for the next day shows unlike the Times Square Booth, so you can buy Saturday 2:00 p.m. show tickets on Frida
  • The Kiosk at the TKTS Booth begins selling at 3:00 p.m., however, some theaters will make seats available at 6:00 p.m.  If you stop by the booth a bit later in the day you may find the lines are shorter and you may find tickets that were not available earlier in the day.
  • If you are searching for tickets for Broadway Plays only, try the #12 window at the TKTS Booth in Time Square as this window is typically reserved for Plays only (not musicals).

Research and Buy via Apps: 
The TKTS Booths are a great resource for buying tickets but you do have to stand in line, in the weather if it is in winter or the summer heat…standing in line is not how you want to spend your time during your visit to NYC.  As an alternative you can download the TKTS App as we mentioned above.  

There are other great Apps for buying Broadway Show tickets these include: New York Show Tickets, GoldStar, TheaterMania, BroadwayBox and TodayTix.  These are great Apps that offer not only discounts but lots of other great information about Broadway Shows. 

If you are more interested in seeing a specific show, and you are not as concerned about getting tickets at a discount, you can also use the StubHub App that offers same day tickets, but not at a discount.

Theater Specific Apps:
As popular as general Broadway Show Apps are, consider downloading the App for a specific theater where a show is playing.  There are theaters who have their own App where you can buy tickets for the next day.

Ticketing Websites:
If you are more interested in a specific show, and you want the freedom to choose you day, time of show, seat selections, etc., then you may try ticketing Websites like Telecharge, TicketMaster, StubHub, etc. for same day ticket purchases.  There are other Websites like LuckySeat.com, Broadway.com and BroadwayDirect.com – these Websites offer lotteries for same day tickets to some popular shows.  

Really the best option for these Websites is to log on and do some research.  Their terms, policies and the shows they sell tickets for are updated from time to time.

Visit the Box Office:
This requires a bit of footwork but not as much ‘standing time’ as is required for the TKTS Booth.  Stop by the box office of the actual theater presenting the play that you are interested in seeing.  It is not likely that you will get any discounted tickets, but you can still save on the price you pay because you can save on the service fees you pay. Sometimes you can secure great seats that have been reserved but are then turned back to the box office because the people who held them are unable to attend the show.

Aftermarket Tickets:
If you are willing to gamble on whether or not you will be able to see a show at all, you can arrive at the theater  the night of the show and sometimes you can get lucky and buy a ticket from a person selling tickets to the show that they cannot attend. Also, there are often tickets available on ticket sales Websites and Apps like VividSeats and StubHub for shows the ‘day of’ just before show time. 

Lottery or Rush Tickets:
Rush Tickets or the Lottery Tickets are offered by the theater box offices for same day performances.  You need to be willing to spend some time going to the box offices and stand in line for your desired show.  

This means you need to arrive at the box office at 10:00 a.m. on most days and 11:00 a.m. on Sundays.  
There are now more and more shows using a ‘Mobile Rushes’ that are offered by TodayTix as an alternative to standing in line at the box offices.  

Most recently popular shows like Harry Potter offer a digital lottery which is held once a week on Fridays. Even the incredibly popular show, Hamilton is offering some tickets for $10.00.  You can learn more about which shows are offering digital lotteries and rush tickets by going to Broadway.com, BroadwayforBrokePeople.com, PlayBill.com and TodayTix.com.

Neon Signs on Broadway in New York City

Standing Room Only (SRO) Tickets:
If you are fine standing for a show, you  can opt for ‘Standing Room Only’ tickets which are discounted and are available on sale each day when the box office opens.

Are you a Member?
You can join the Theater Development Fund (TDF) which provides great benefits to its members.  The membership is currently $30.00 for an annual membership.  Your membership will give you access to discounted tickets to off-Broadway Shows for just $9.00 through a TDF program called OffOff@9.  Other benefits include giving you access to tickets for shows before they are offered to the public.

Age Matters Programs:
Many nonprofit theaters have program aimed at building an audience of younger people.  Lincoln Theater has a program called, LincTix that is for patron aged 21 to 35 which provides tickets for $32 for all their shows.

The Manhattan Theater Club has a popular ’30 under 30’ program that provides $30.00 tickets to 30 patrons who are aged 30 or younger.

Theater lovers who are 18 to 35 years old can join the HipTix program at the Roundabout Theater Company and can buy tickets for $25.00 each.

Students and teachers can receive discount vouchers for ticket up to 50% off  through programs offered by School Theater Ticket Program called, SchoolTix.com. 

Seeing a Broadway Show is an incredibly popular activity for NYC visitors and residents alike and it is not always a cheap endeavor. This New York Visitors Blog article, ‘Things to do in NYC: How to Buy Discounted Broadway Tickets’ – gives you some valuable tips and information on how to save on buying tickets to your favorite Broadway Shows.

If you are looking for more New York things to do, see our New York Visitors Guide for more inspiration!

When you are ready to book your next visit to New York, see our current Special Offers for the ‘Guaranteed Best Rates’ at our Times Square Hotel.