Our city’s theater history goes all the way back to the 1700s, and it’s still one of the most iconic parts of NYC. But sometimes, those Broadway shows can feel just a little too out of reach because of their price tag. Even the farthest seats usually start at around $60/ticket, and those sell out fast! Luckily, it is possible to score cheap Broadway tickets, you just need to know how!
We put together all the tried and true ways to score cheap and discounted Broadway tickets in NYC. And though it may take a little time, flexibility in your schedule, and some creativity, it’s definitely worth it in the end!
Step 1: Enter the Show’s Digital Lottery (if they have one)
Most shows have a digital lottery system. Basically you create a login, enter for up to two tickets for a show later the same day, and cross your fingers. You’ll get an email if you’ve won (or not) a few hours before the show, and you only have to pay $30-$50 per ticket depending on what site is running the lottery! To find out if the show you’re interested in does a lottery you can check the show’s website or Google the name of the show followed by “digital lottery.” Some of them even allow you to enter for days in advance.
Here are some links to a few of the popular show’s lotteries:
Step 2: Check The Show’s Rush and Standing Room Policy
Lots of shows, especially the popular ones, have a rush policy. This means you “rush” the box office right when it opens in hopes of scoring cheap last-minute Broadway tickets (though for the popular ones, people sometimes start lining up hours before). There is a limited amount they give away each day and they cost around $35-$40 per ticket. Most box offices open at 9am, but check their websites to be sure.
Step 3: Look at Less Popular Timing
When you’re scouting tickets the normal way, look at less typically popular times. These times include weekday nights such as Tuesdays and Wednesdays (bonus points if you skip work for a Wednesday matinee!), and after any major holidays. You likely won’t find something budget-friendly on weekends or during December.
Step 4: Seek Out Student Specials
If you’re a student, many shows you can “rush” also have a separate sector of tickets set aside for students, and those are even cheaper costing around $20-$30 per ticket. Full time students can also regularly get heavily discounted Broadway tickets if they get a yearly membership with the Theater Development Fund, which costs $40/year.
Step 5: Visit the TKTS Booths
Speaking of the Theater Development Fund, they actually run the famous red TKTS Booth in Times Square, and they also have locations in South Street Seaport and Lincoln Center (temporarily closed). You can get tickets up to 50% off for same-day performances to certain shows.
Step 6: Mark “Broadway Week” in Your Calendar
Broadway Week happens twice a year, once in the winter and once in the spring. This is a time when there are amazing cheap Broadway tickets with 2-for-1 deals. It has been going on since 2011 and is put on by NYC & Company and the Broadway League. During the week, you can score 50% off each individual Broadway show ticket, so definitely don’t miss out on it!