season tickets for free

How I Get Season Tickets for Free

Season tickets for free to your favorite sports team?

YES PLEASE!

Sounds too good to be true, right?

If you’re a diehard sports fan like I am, I bet having season tickets to your favorite team is high on your bucket list.

For me, the expense involved made the thought of having season tickets only a dream for many years, until one day I decided to check it out. I found a plan that worked for me and went for it, and I’ve been the proud owners of Portland Trail Blazers season tickets for the past five seasons.

At this point you’re probably thinking, “this is a money saving blog, what are they doing telling us to buy season tickets, doesn’t that cost money?!”

Hint: because you can get season tickets for free.

Seriously.

Not only is it possible, but it’s relatively simple to regain your money, or even to turn a small profit, by being a season ticket holder. Like anything, having season tickets for free will require some effort and planning on your part, but it is possible (I’ve been doing it for more than five years after all).

So let’s get to the goods!

Here’s how you can get season tickets for free.

The Basics and Benefits of Season Tickets

Before we get into the money saving part, there are a couple things you should know about season tickets.

First, they come with many benefits. For example, my ticket plan (a pair of seats per game) comes with right of first request to concerts and other events at the arena. I also get 10% off concessions and 20% off at the Trail Blazers fan shop, along with a dedicated account manager to help me out whenever I need anything.

And if that weren’t enough, I receive a special gift every year when I get my tickets (I get ticket cards), as well as exclusive access to special season ticket holder events with the players! There are also discounts off the price of the tickets that increase over time, so the longer you hold them, the higher the discount and the less the tickets cost.

Another thing to know about season tickets is that they come in many different packages. This may seem obvious, but the cost of season tickets varies greatly depending on the location of the seats.

Luckily, there are many different levels and sections, so there is a package out there for almost every income level. To make it even easier on us regular folk, many teams offer several payment options to soften the blow of the tickets, interest free!

I pay mine in monthly installments throughout the year, so the monthly payment is minimal (every team is different, so consult a season ticket representative about payment options for your team).

All the above benefits make season tickets doable, but they don’t explain how I, and you, can get them for free. For that little bonus you need to understand the power of the greatest benefit to having season tickets.

How I Get Season Tickets for Free

You can resell them.

That’s right, you can resell them. While I was told about the resell benefit when deciding on whether to purchase season tickets, I had no idea how powerful this one little detail would be, and that it would enable me to have the tickets and all the other benefits completely free!

It’s also taken me several years to fully realize the value of this benefit and how to maximize it, but by reading this article you’re getting all my tips and tricks before you even sign up!

Here’s how it works.

When you buy NBA season tickets you pay a set price per seat, which averages out equally over the course of the home games of the season. For example, if you buy a package for seats that are $800, over 44 games (our number of home games, including preseason) you’re paying $18.18 per seat, per game.

However, that base price is not the face value of the tickets for each game. In fact, the value per seat, per game is almost always higher than what you pay as a season ticket holder. Thus, when you resell the tickets the money you receive is more than what you paid for them.

While most games will only make you a small profit ($5-$10 a seat), the most popular games can haul in some major moolah.

For example, the cost of my seats average out to about $19.60 per seat, per game. But a few years back when the champion Golden State Warriors came to town seats in my section would go for over $100 a ticket!

If I sell my seats for $100 a ticket, that’s a profit of $80.40 per seat for that one game!

As you can see, reselling tickets can turn a nice profit, and the discrepancy between what you pay for seats and what you sell them for means you can still keep a decent number of games for yourself for free!

In fact, I still manage to attend between 10 and 20 games a year, with the profits from reselling the other games making back all the money I spent, and then some.

Reselling Strategies

So how do you resell games?

This is the real trick to getting season tickets for free.

Each team should offer an option through your season ticket account to resell your tickets through their website (check with a season ticket representative for information on how your team handles this). While this is convenient and requires no further effort than setting a price and linking your account to your bank, I’ve learned that diversifying your sales opportunities is the best way to ensure you’re reaching the largest audience.

Good ol’ Craigslist is always an option, and I have utilized it, but that wouldn’t be my first suggestion (too many creeps and scams). There are a ton of Craigslist alternatives out there, but my recommendation (other than through your team website) would be to utilize a tool most of us use every day.

Facebook.

Several years ago, Facebook began allowing people to create For Sale groups, and you can usually find several For Sale groups in your area with a simple search.

These groups, along with the Facebook Marketplace, have been my main source for finding buyers for single game tickets. Selling through Facebook takes a little more effort, as you must post the ads, message with interested buyers, and meet them to exchange.

Another option is to transfer the tickets to buyers through email while they send you payment through Paypal or another money sharing medium.

While the Facebook option requires a little more work, it’s been my main source of buyers for the past several years, and anything that allows me to have season tickets for free is totally worth it!

Moral of the Story

Season tickets for free are totally within reach if you’re willing to put a little time and effort into it.

Once you have the tickets, I suggest setting up a spreadsheet with the dates of games and opponents. Next, utilize your teams’ website to determine the face value of each individual game and add that value per seat into your spreadsheet. Next, decide which games you want to attend, and which you want to sell. Post those you want to sell on your teams’ website through your account manager. Finally, post ads on Facebook and elsewhere to increase exposure to your target audience.

Finally, start selling and watch the cost of your tickets dwindle and then disappear! Especially if you are willing to sacrifice the best games, like Golden State, you can make some good money. Make sure to keep track of your earnings on the spreadsheet so you know how much you’ve made.

That’s all there is to it. It really is simple to get season tickets for free.

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Tawnya Redding

Tawnya is an elementary special education teacher by day and co-blogger at Money Saved is Money Earned by night. She holds an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University and an MS in Special Education from Portland State University. She has had a pretty successful writing career, first as a writing tutor at the Oregon State University Writing Center, and in recent years, as a freelance writer. Tawnya and co-blogger Sebastian have a wealth of knowledge and information about personal finance, retirement, student loans, credit cards, and many other financial topics. They teach people how to save money, make money, and understand money.

3 thoughts on “How I Get Season Tickets for Free”

  1. I’ve done this for the past 6 years with New Orleans Pelicans Tickets. Sadly for us, though, our team hasn’t been consistently good enough for demand to purchase my tickets. The big games draw fans and higher prices (Golden State, Cleveland with LeBron, Lakers, and Houston) but not many care to see the Pelicans face off against the Utah Jazz.

    I share my season tickets with a co-worker and manage to come within $100-$200 of breakeven after flipping 8-10 games per season. It’s a sound strategy financially speaking and it also becomes necessary given the frequency of games. 44 games in a season (counting preseason and not playoffs) can wear on you.

  2. What sections/areas of the venues are the best as far returns go? Would it be better for the lower bowl sections or upper decks?

    1. Mine are in the upper bowl of the arena but not the worst seats. I’ve found that people are more willing to pay an intermediary rate than a premium. The problem with the lower bowl tickets is that they are just so darn expensive and many people can’t afford them, so you limit your audience a bit.

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