Play ball: Finding deals on MLB ticket prices

By Alex Veiga

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 4 2012 2:20 p.m. MDT

There are three main options for buying tickets to a sporting event: Directly from the team, commonly through Ticketmaster.com; from websites like ScoreBig.com that obtain swaths of tickets from brokers, corporations and promoters or other sources; and, from fans reselling tickets on StubHub.com or similar sites.

Each source has its advantages and drawbacks.

For example, buying from the team is the most direct way to get exactly what you want, but you're paying retail. Why do that if you can avoid it?

Buying from individuals can be a good way to bypass a game sellout or get a good price on extra tickets the seller no longer needs. That could mean a lower price, but prepare to pay a lot more than retail for a hot ticket.

A good place to start if you're taking this approach is SeatGeek.com. The site functions as a search engine for hundreds of ticket websites, including eBay.com, Ticketnetwork.com and Vividseats.com.

That can help give you an idea of the kinds of tickets that might be available for a given game and how much everyone from resellers to brokers are asking.

The middleman sites mining tickets from brokers offer perhaps the most tantalizing prospect for big discounts.

Brokers often buy season tickets and make a killing from selling seats to highly anticipated games, say a matchup between the Lakers and Celtics. But less coveted games typically get sold at a discount.

"So many brokers are sitting on so much inventory that they're willing to take a loss," said Justin Cener, founder and CEO of Crowdseats.com.

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