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Best sports ticket sites 2019: how to score the best seats for the lowest price

Best Sports Tickets Sites
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There is nothing like being swept up in the exhilarating cheers as your team scores a three pointer from downtown or achieves an amazing touchdown after run from the 30 yard line. Witnessing the action live and feeling the team spirit soar in the stadium is indescribable. The best sports ticket sites will help you see that action live, but choosing when service can be hard pick.

Best for value: StubHub

StubHub has affordable prices, reasonable fees and an interactive website that makes buying tickets easy.

In partnership with StubHub


VIEW DEAL ON StubHub

Sports ticket websites have a reputation for be slightly confusing in regards to ticket costs, and fees. We've reviewed the best sports ticket sites to see whether they have a transparent pricing policy, what their fees are and how easy their returns policies were to follow. 

We also looked at the range of tickets they sold, to see if they were the best ticket site for football or if they were better for basketball. This way we can help you find the top sports tickets site to suits your needs. 

We discovered the best sports ticket sites not only give you a clear and competitive price on tickets but also have a easy to used website that allows you to see exactly where you'll be sitting. There is nothing worse than being in the stadium for the best touchdown of the season and only getting to see it on a highlight reel due to a poorly place column. 

We will breakdown the most common things that a sports ticket website should have, like an interactive seating and buyer guarantees. By following the advice in this guide you should be able to find a reputable ticket seller. Be on the ball about ticket sellers and never miss a game again. 

1. Vividseats: best overall

Vivid Seats - Best sports ticket sites

Vivid Seats

Best sports ticket site for low prices and low fees

Great prices 
Seat views 
Low ticket resale fees
High ticket fees 
More for group tickets than single 

Vivid Seats is the best place to by sports tickets because it shows you exactly what you’re buying.

Once you select your event, you can choose the number of tickets you want or skip that step and browse. We noticed it’s easy to find tickets in groups of two, three or four, making this a good place to shop if you’re going to a game with friends or family. In addition, the site displays the stadium or arena, and you can click on sections to see which seats are available – for some venues, you can see a point-of-view photo of the view from each seat so you know exactly what it’s like to watch from that chair. You can filter your ticket results by price or value based on location, or you can simply go for the "best seats" if you're OK with spending some big bucks.

Vivid Seats got an A in our price comparison, during which we looked at the price of tickets to three events on all the sports ticket platforms we reviewed. Vivid Seats’ fees on a $25 ticket were $14, which isn't the cheapest but also not the most expensive. You can have your tickets sent to you in the mail, over email, via your mobile device or through will call, though it depends on the event. There is also a rewards program called Vivid Values, where you get discounted gift cards, trips, discounted group rates and cheap tickets.

We focused on sports tickets for this review but like most ticket websites, Vivid Seats also sells concert and event tickets. Since 2001, the company has processed more than $1 billion worth of ticket transactions. Every ticket is backed by a 100-percent Buyer Guarantee, which means the company doesn't give your personal information to sellers, you will get your tickets before the event, and they will be authentic. Like many ticket websites, Vivid Seats gives you a full refund, including delivery charges, if the event is canceled. There is a live chat feature on Vivid Seats’ website, so you can get answers to questions ASAP, or you can check out the company’s mobile app if you’re on the go.

Vivid Seats review

2. StubHub: best value 

StubHub -Best sports ticket sites

StubHub

A great sports ticket website for low fees and mobile app

Low fee
Mobile App
Great prices 
No reward program
Restrictive refund policy 

StubHub received an A+ in our price comparison test, where we compared and averaged the prices of tickets to three sporting events.

Also, like SeatGeek, the site only added $8 in shipping and handling fees to a $25 ticket – less than every other website we tested. This, paired with a mere 10-percent ticket resale fee, makes it the place to get the best value for sports tickets.

With StubHub – which is owned by eBay – you can search for events based on where you live, the sport you're interested or your favorite team. You see a little fire icon if tickets are particularly popular for any given event so you never miss out on getting seats. Once you select an event, you can see which seats are available in which sections of the stadium or arena, as well as the view from each spot, on the site’s interactive seating chart. You can also sort ticket results by price, best value or best seats. If you need to get a ticket right this minute, just download the free StubHub app.

If something comes up and you don’t need your tickets anymore, you can resell them right through StubHub. The website only takes 10-percent of the selling price, which is one of the lower resale fees we saw. Like on most sites, you’re guaranteed legitimate event tickets and will receive a full refund if the event is canceled. StubHub now owns Ticketbis as well, so you have access to tickets for more than 10 million sports and other entertainment events happening in over 40 countries.

StubHub review

3. Ticketmaster: best return policy 

Ticketmaster - Best sports ticket sites

Ticketmaster

A sports ticket website with a good returns policy and pricing system

Three day refund 
Ticket alerts for availability and price 
Mobile app
Fees vary by ticket
No seat review
Clunky website design

Most of the sports ticket websites we reviewed only give you a full refund if the event is totally canceled.

This doesn’t include rescheduled events, and one website also excludes events canceled due to weather. This can be particularly frustrating, especially if you’ve already purchased a plane ticket to get to the game. Ticketmaster’s Fan Guarantee means you have three days to get your money back. While it doesn’t apply to every single ticket the site sells, it’s still a pretty great deal. And don’t worry; in the event of a total cancelation, you get a refund as well.

The website doesn’t have the cleanest design, but it’s obvious where to look for tickets to various sports, entertainment and music events. Once you select an event, you can view the venue and see exactly where the available seats are. However, it doesn’t have photos to show you what the view looks like from each seat.
Ticketmaster got a fairly impressive B+ in our price comparison test and only charged $9 in fees on a $25 ticket, so it’s pretty affordable. You can even resell your tickets if something comes up, but the resale fees the website charges vary based on the ticket and how much you sell it for.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged in 2010, becoming Live Nation Entertainment. There is a free mobile app for on-the-go shopping, and ticket insurance is available. The company is committed to no-hassle exchanges, and its Fan Guarantee makes it the sports ticket seller with the best return and exchange policies.

Ticketmaster review

4. TicketiQ: best for price matching

TicketIQ - Best sports ticket sites

TicketIQ

This sports ticket website is offers a price matching policy that can't be beaten

The website is well designed.
You can’t sell tickets.

A lot of sports ticket websites have low price guarantees, but TicketIQ matches the price of any ticket you find on another website and then some.

TicketIQ’s low price guarantee gives you 200 percent of the difference on a ticket you find cheaper on another valid ticket website. Of course, there are some stipulations. The less expensive ticket must be for the same exact section, row, quantity and seat on the same date. It must also be available to the general public, excluding loyalty program promotions, and the claim must be filed within 24 hours with a screenshot of all pertinent information. That being said, if you really do find a ticket out there for less, odds are you'll be able to get it cheaper on TicketIQ. Just look for the "low price guarantee" logo on that ticket's webpage.

TicketiQ review

5. SeatGeek: best for price transparency 

SeatGeek - Best sports ticket sites

SeatGeek

This sports ticket site is ideal for price transparency

The site assigns a deal score to each available ticket
It charges a 20 percent ticket resale fee

SeatGeek lets you view ticket prices before or after fees with the simple click of a button.

This transparency makes SeatGeek a good site for bargain hunters. Once you find the game you're looking for, the pull-down menu at the top lets you select to view available tickets with fees attached or before fees. This makes it very clear how much extra money you'll spend on top of the base ticket price. Some websites only show this information after you start the checkout process, and we really appreciated how upfront SeatGeek is about pricing. This feature also works in the service’s easy-to-use app. In our tests, the fees on a $25 ticket were only $8, making it affordable as well.

SeatGeek review

Why trust us on sport ticket sites

We’ve seen a lot of touchdowns, Hail Mary’s and buzzer-beaters since 2008 when we started reviewing sports tickets websites. Whether you’re looking for tickets to watch America’s pastime with your buddies or some front row seats to really impress a date, we understand you want to buy from a website that’s straightforward and easy to use.

Rust said many websites also frequently have promo codes you can find online or by listening to sports podcasts. These can make your purchase a little less expensive.

How we tested sport ticket websites

We spent 20 hours poring over the most popular and unique sports tickets websites, considering how transparent their prices and fees are, their return policies, and their buyer and seller guarantees.

Rather than use confusing percentage points or divide out all the shipping and processing fees, we instead found a $25 ticket on each website and noted how much the fees were on top of that. That way, we could give you an exact dollar amount rather than a rough estimate.

You should note that shipping fees sometimes vary by how you choose to receive your ticket, whether it’s shipped in the mail, sent electronically or picked up at the event. The ability to use will call is oftentimes up to the discretion of the arena or stadium, not the ticket website.

We also checked to see if each website has a rewards program as well as whether it offers parking passes, has a mobile app, lets you set ticket alerts or uses interactive seating charts. You can sell tickets on many of these sites, and some will even buy your tickets directly from you. 

We favored websites with low resale fees. Return policies are generally the same across all the websites – you can’t get your money back unless the event is flat-out canceled. Tickets to rescheduled concerts aren’t usually eligible for refunds.

In addition, we checked whether each site is intuitive to use and offers ticket alerts and interactive seating maps. 

Our research shows Vivid Seats is the best site to buy sports tickets from because it is affordable, interactive and easy to use.

Super Bowl tickets

We wish you all the luck in the world if you're after some Super Bowl tickets. They're incredibly hard to procure, and when they're available, they're often not the best seats. That being said, you can check TicketCity if you’re a diehard fan. The website has them available for thousands of dollars. Season ticket holders wherever the Super Bowl is played might sell their spots, so it's also worth checking out websites that resell.

Before game day

After you purchase your tickets, there are other things to consider before you arrive at the game. First, make sure you have the correct ticket method to get in the door. Some websites, such as Ticketmaster, require you to download an app to present an electronic ticket on your smartphone. If your confirmation email says this, a printed out receipt or paper ticket won’t work. Other venues may require you print a paper ticket, so it’s important to make sure you’ve done what’s required before you head to the game. Either way, the ticket purchase confirmation email will give you the information you need.

You should also look up information about security at the stadium you’re going to. Some have metal detectors and don’t allow anything inside that could be used as a weapon. Others don’t have such stringent rules. Either way, knowing ahead of time will make it easier when you arrive. This information most likely won’t be available on the ticket website, so you need to do the research separately.

One last thing to keep in mind is parking. For events at large stadiums, it will most likely be easiest to purchase a parking pass online alongside your ticket. That way, you’re guaranteed a spot. Depending on the location, there may be other parking options, though they could be expensive and not secure. If you’re in an unfamiliar city, it’s not the safest option to simply pay a stranger $20 to park in their driveway.

ProductPriceOverall RatingPrices & FeesConvenienceShopping & SellingPrice ComparisonFees on $25 TicketPOV Photos From Your SeatTicket Resale FeeReturn PolicyTicket InsuranceAlertsMobile AppRewards ProgramsParking PassesInteractive Seating Chart
Vivid SeatsView Deal4.5/59109.3A$14.0010%Event CanceledVivid Values
StubHubView Deal4/51086.8A+$8.0010%Event Canceled--
TicketmasterView Deal4/56.56.89.3B+$9.00-Varies3 Days After Purchase or Event CanceledFan Gaurantee
TicketIQView Deal3.5/56.84.510D+$0.00No Ticket ResaleEvent Canceled--Low Price Gaurantee
Ticket LiquidatorView Deal3/52.886.8B$17.0010%Event Canceled--
SeatGeekView Deal3/53.576.8D$8.0020%Event Canceled--
TicketNetworkView Deal3/52.8103.3B$17.0010%Event Canceled--
TicketCityView Deal2.5/51.875.3C+$16.00Sell Directly To WebsiteEvent Canceled-Corporate Rewards-
RazorgatorView Deal2.5/51.84.56.8C+$16.00No Ticket ResaleEvent Canceled---
Coast to Coast TicketsView Deal2/51.863.3C$14.00No Ticket ResaleEvent Cancelation Excluding Weather---