Ticketing 101

When you buy a ticket, you are supporting your favorite live events, like your favorite sports team, Broadway shows, concerts, and family-friendly entertainment. We want you to know how the ticketing process works — and how we think it could be better for fans, artists, performers and teams.

  • Who Owns the Tickets to Your Favorite Live Events?

    Tickets sold on Ticketmaster belong to the people putting on the event - aka “Event Organizers” - like performing artists, sports teams and venues.

    Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and we partner with Event Organizers to make their tickets available through our marketplace, which includes websites, apps and Fan Support centers across 29 countries.

  • The Difference Between a Presale and an Onsale Date

    Before tickets go on sale, Event Organizers tell us how many tickets they want to make available, the price of the ticket, and when they want the sale, or sales, to start.

    In many cases, you may see ticket sales listed as either a “Presale” or a “General Public Onsale.” Event Organizers may arrange these early Presales as part of promotional efforts they have with a third party, such as offering tickets to certain credit cards holders in exch... Read More

  • Ticket Types

    As the official ticketing partner of thousands of concerts, sports, and theater events around the world, we offer the widest selection of tickets, and all of our tickets are guaranteed by a verification process or a money-back guarantee.

    The most common types of tickets we sell are:

    • Standard Tickets - Standard Tickets, are listed for sale at a price decided by the Event Organizer. Learn More
    • Resale Tickets - Resale tickets are tickets sold by fans, season ticket holders and professional ticket brokers. Learn More
    • Platinum Tickets - Platinum Tickets are standard tickets that are “dynamically” priced based on supply and demand. Learn More
    • VIP Tickets - Some Event Organizers offer ticket packages that include preferred seating locations in addition to extra items such as access to a pre-show meet and greet or show merchandise. Learn More
  • The Cost of a Ticket: List Price, Fees and Taxes

    Event Organizers set the list price for Standard, Platinum and VIP Tickets. The list price for a Resale Ticket is set by the ticket holder who is reselling it..

    Fees, including our portion of the fees, vary by event and cover the costs of the services we provide to venues, promoters and fans, including developing new technology, customer support, fraud prevention, marketing and other services... Read More

  • Ticket Delivery and Entry

    Once you’ve purchased a ticket, getting in the door to your favorite live events should be easy.

    We offer Event Organizers several ways to deliver tickets to fans, including mobile tickets, will call pickup, print-at-home, and mail. These options are always selected by the Event Organizer.

    Increasingly, Event Organizers are choosing to use our “SafeTix” mobile ticketing as the exclusive option for entry into their shows. SafeTix uses an encrypted digital ticket that eliminates ticket fraud... Read More

  • Transferring Your Ticket

    Many people like to attend live events along with friends, family or loved ones. Ticketmaster has made it safe and easy to transfer tickets you can’t use, or tickets purchased for friends and family, directly from your account.

    Inside your account, locate your order and choose Transfer Tickets, select who you'd like to send them to and how they should be delivered (send link via text message or email).

    In rare cases, some Event Organizers may elect to make tickets “non-transferable.” This is to prevent buyers from purchasing groups of tickets solely for the purpose of reselling them at a profit. In 2018, less than 4% of events had “non-transferable” tickets... Read More

  • Selling Your Tickets

    When you end up with tickets you can’t use, you should be able to resell your tickets to someone who can. We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible with features that allow you to list your tickets straight from your Ticketmaster Account page.

    Although we may not be the largest resale marketplace, we strive to be the best and most transparent for fans purchasing resale tickets. Unlike other resale marketplaces, we verify every standard, Platinum and VIP ticket we sell, so that buyers know they are buying the real thing. And for resale tickets where the original ticket was sold through another ticketing company, and then posted on Ticketmaster, we provide a money-back guarantee. Additionally, when someone purchases tickets originally bought from Ticketmaster, they are re-issued in that buyer’s name, giving them peace of mind that their tickets are both real and belong to them... Read More

    New Products & Tools

    We are focused on using new technologies and building new products that help ensure tickets end up in the hands of real fans.

    • Ticketmaster Smart Queue™

      Instead of a rush to the onsale that favors the bots, Smart Queue drops fans into a virtual queue requiring each user to sign in and provide a unique phone number for validation.

    • Ticketmaster Request

      Ditch your alarm and skip the queue for your favorite artists. Let us know what tickets you want, and if your request is confirmed, we'll do the rest.
      See How it Works

    • Ticketmaster SafeTix™

      SafeTix feature encrypted, changing barcodes and “tap and go” NFC technology, which prevents tickets from being screenshotted or photocopied, virtually eliminating fraud and counterfeiting.
      Learn More

    Fan Rights

    Creating a better ticketing experience for fans.

    Each day, millions of fans trust Ticketmaster as the place to buy and sell tickets for unforgettable live experiences. We work continuously to provide fans a smooth, safe and fair ticket buying experience.

    • Challenge

      Competing With Automated Ticket Bots

      For high demand events, unscrupulous resellers use sophisticated computer software programs known as “ticket bots” to illegally purchase large blocks of seats in order to resell them on secondary ticket sites at very high mark-ups to the face value.

      Our Solution

      10B Bots Blocked in 2018

      • We have invested millions of dollars in proprietary and 3rd party technologies that blocked over 10 billion bot purchase attempts in 2018 alone
      • We actively cancel tickets listed for sale on our website when we suspect they were purchased using bots
      • We work closely with law enforcement to identify and go after bot users
    • Challenge

      Increasing Fair Access to The Seats You Want

      For many events there is much greater demand for tickets than there are available seats, particularly for great seat locations, and competing with thousands of other fans who are also trying to buy tickets to your favorite show, concert or game can be time-consuming and frustrating.

      Our Solution

      Fan, Artist, and Client-Friendly Products

      • Working with teams and artists, we have built new products to help them get tickets directly to their real fans
      • Our Verified Fan registration program and our new digital ticket platform have been used across thousands of events getting tickets to fans at fan-friendly prices
      • We have also helped teams and artists “dynamically” price tickets to ensure they rightfully receive the benefits of market pricing, instead of their profits going to scalpers or resale ticketing sites
    • Challenge

      Protecting Fans From Ticketing Fraud

      Many resale ticket sites allow sellers to list tickets for shows that haven’t gone on sale yet and the seller doesn’t even have possession of the tickets (“speculative tickets”). Dozens of sites also use confusing words & logos to make you think you are buying tickets from an official source, when you are buying unverified tickets from individual ticket sellers.

      Our Solution

      A Safe and Transparent Marketplace

      • We do not allow speculative tickets on our website. Sellers are required to list exact seat locations and we validate the location before tickets can be sold
      • We clearly identify every ticket as either a standard or resale ticket
      • If we are not the official ticket seller, we provide you a link to the site that is the official ticket seller
      • We have also teamed with platforms like Google and Facebook to fight deceptive marketing and require proper disclosures on all ticket ads that appear on their sites

    The Impact of Bots

    • 10B Bot purchase attempts blocked by Ticketmaster in 2018
    • 40% of traffic on ticketing sites is automated*
    • 67% of bad bot traffic occurs in the United States*

    *Stats based on Distil’s Bad Bot Report 2018

    Our Guarantee

    We’ll have your back, every step of the way.

    Ticketmaster is the Official Ticket Marketplace for thousands of the world's biggest events, performers, teams and sports leagues including the NFL, NBA and NHL. Along with our partners, we're committed to being the safest, most reliable ticket marketplace in the world. That means you can count on us to provide you:

    • 100% Real Tickets

      Every ticket we sell, standard or resale, is real and accounted for so that you always get into your event.

    • Transparent Ticketing

      We’ll always clarify which available seats are standard and which are resale. And if we aren’t the official ticketing partner for an event, we’ll tell you who is.

    • Reliable Refunds

      The seats you buy are the seats you get. If they aren’t or if your event is canceled, you can get your money back. Learn more about refunds for canceled and rescheduled live events.

    • Leading Fan Support

      If you have questions or problems, our award-winning Fan Support Team will work hard to make sure you get the help you need.

    • What Our Partners Are Saying

      I want theatergoers to be able to purchase tickets at face value at our box office and our website, rather than on a resale platform. And if you do go to a resale platform for tickets, I want the markup you must pay to be clearly displayed. Most of all, I want you to be there when the curtain goes up. You shouldn’t have to fight robots just to see something you love.

      Lin-Manuel Miranda

      Creator of Broadway’s Hamilton - NY Times

    • What Our Partners Are Saying

      We know we’ve got such a passionate fan base and scalpers can come in and take full advantage of that. We took that burden upon ourselves to try to create those obstacles that would put as many tickets into the fans’ hands... Our fan base just loved it, they felt we did everything we possibly could do and we did.

      Chris Woltman

      Twenty One Pilots Manager - Forbes

    • What Our Partners Are Saying

      Our artists go to great lengths to understand who is buying tickets and coming to their shows. It’s important to them to make their shows safer and more accessible and it’s very important for them to be able to develop longstanding personal relationships that will fuel their careers for years to come. Tools like digital tickets are finally going to give them that capability.

      Louis Messina

      Messina Touring Group/AEG Live

    • What Our Partners Are Saying

      Our number one goal has always been to get Pearl Jam tickets into the hands of our fans. We are constantly working up ways to improve our ticketing options and level the playing field. Verified Fan is the best solution out there to beat the bots.

      Kelly Curtis

      Pearl Jam Manager


      Have a question that’s not answered? We’re here to help you find answers.

      Fan Support Site


      • Who determines how many and what types of tickets go on sale?

        Event Organizers are in control of all the key details when it comes to selling their tickets.

        They decide how many tickets should be sold, the types of tickets to sell, the prices, when ticket sales information is made available to the public, as well as when they want the tickets to go on sale.

      • Does Ticketmaster set ticket prices?

        No. Prices are determined by Event Organizers, who keep 100% of face value when a ticket sells.

        When a ticket is offered for resale on our marketplace, that price is chosen by the reseller, such as another fan, season ticket holder, or a professional ticket seller.

        Fees are added after the ticket price is displayed. They’re split among the venue and others involved (including Ticketmaster) in bringing events to life, but who don’t receive any portion of a ticket’s face value.

      • Why are there fees?

        Fees play a crucial role in bringing events to life and enhancing the future of live events.

        And because they’re giving us the rights to sell their tickets, Event Organizers typically collect a portion of these fees as well.

        They help cover the costs of putting on each show, like setup and security, amazing visuals and crystal-clear sound, and other fan services that all work together to create unforgettable experiences.

        Fees may come in the form of facility charges, which go to the venue, or delivery fees, which are based on how your tickets get to you.

        We also collect service and order processing fees for our ticketing services. Fees, including our portion, go toward providing fans and clients with a safe and fair marketplace for buying and selling tickets, as well as ensuring that getting into a show is reliable and easy.

        We accomplish this by building industry-leading websites and apps, innovating technologies that protect tickets from people using illegal bots and providing an award-winning level of customer service.

      • Do you offer refunds or exchanges?

        All sales are final, but refunds are allowed in limited circumstances.

        The best source of up-to-date information about your event—and whether any refund, credit, or exchange procedures may be available—is in your online account. For your convenience, here are some examples of when a refund may be available:

        • If your event is canceled, and you purchased your tickets from a Ticketmaster or Live Nation website or application,* we will issue a refund to the original method of payment used at the time of purchase, once funds are received from the Event Organizer. No action is required to obtain a refund. Some exceptions and limitations may apply. Please see our Purchase Policy for details.

        • If your event is postponed, rescheduled, or moved, and you purchased your tickets from a Ticketmaster or Live Nation website or application,* your tickets are still valid; in some instances, however, the Event Organizer may give you the option to request a refund. Some exceptions and limitations may apply. Please see our Purchase Policy for details.

        • If you purchased ticket insurance during checkout, and can’t attend an event for any covered reason, you’ll be reimbursed up to 100% of the ticket price. For any ticket insurance refunds, please contact the insurance provider.

        Also, for many events, certain tickets may be exchanged for tickets from us of equal or higher price. A per ticket exchange fee may apply. Exchanges are not available for: (a) tickets purchased through resale, (b) VIP and other premium tickets, or (c) tickets purchased with additional related items and/or bundled products, or (d) tickets for events that are less than 24 hours away. In addition, we may occasionally offer tickets at a discount after the original on-sale date, and will not refund the difference between the original price and the sale price. To exchange tickets, contact Fan Support. Please see our Purchase Policy for details.

        Any request for a refund, credit, or exchange is governed by our Purchase Policy, Terms of Use, and the Terms Regarding Certain Canceled, Rescheduled and Postponed Events (COVID-19). You should read those policies carefully to understand your options and our policies. For additional information, read our blog post, Updated Information About Event Status, Refunds, and Options.

        *Special rules apply to certain kinds of tickets (including transfer tickets and tickets you purchased but then resold). Please see our Purchase Policy for details.

      • Do you offer ticket insurance?

        Yes, we offer ticket insurance during checkout through our partner Allianz.

        When you have insurance and can't attend an event for any covered reason you’re fully reimbursed. Covered reasons include illness, airline delays, traffic accidents, and more.

        Your coverage includes the ticket price, taxes, convenience fees, and shipping charges, along with all other event-related items that have been added to your order, like parking, up to a maximum of $10,000.

        You can purchase insurance by selecting "Yes, Protect My Ticket Purchase" during checkout.

        Want more info? Learn more about ticket insurance.

      • How do I sell my tickets?

        Sometimes plans change and you can’t make it to your event. In those cases, we’ve made it easy and safe to sell your tickets to other fans.

        Resale is at the Event Organizer’s discretion and may be removed at any time. If you don’t see a Sell Tickets button, or it's grayed out, you will be unable to resell your tickets on our site.

        How to Sell Your Tickets:
        1. Sign in to your account and select your order
        2. Select Sell Tickets
        3. Choose which ticket(s) you’d like to sell
        4. Set your sale price
        5. Select how you’d like to receive your funds
        6. Review your ticket listing and confirm

        Your tickets are listed instantly - you’ll be notified when they're sold and typically will receive payment within 7 days after the event.

        Need more help selling? View step-by-step instructions on our help center.

      • Why doesn’t my event have a sell button in my account?

        If you don’t see a Sell Tickets button, or it's grayed out, you will be unable to resell your tickets on our site.

        Resale is at the Event Organizer’s discretion and may be removed at any time.

      • How do I transfer tickets?

        The easiest meetup spot at any venue is always your seats.

        It’s simple to transfer tickets to friends and family before an event, right from your account, so you can spend less time tracking each other down and more time enjoying live together.

        How to Transfer Tickets:
        1. Sign in to your account and select your event
        2. Select Transfer Tickets
        3. Choose which tickets you’d like to transfer
        4. Enter the recipient's first and last name, email address, and an optional note
        5. Confirm and click Send

        TIP: You must have a Ticketmaster account to receive a ticket via transfer. If the person to whom you are transferring tickets does not have an account, they can easily create one when accepting their tickets.

        In 2018, Event Organizers chose to make less than 4% of events on Ticketmaster non-transferable. If you don’t see a Transfer Tickets button, or it's grayed out, the tickets are non-transferable.

      • What is mobile entry?

        Mobile entry turns your phone into your ticket. It’s the easiest and safest way to get into your event.

        When you select the “Mobile Entry” delivery option at checkout, or when Event Organizers decide an event should be “Mobile Only”, you won’t be sent physical tickets or emailed tickets to print — so make sure your phone is charged and ready to go.

        Your Phone is Your Ticket
        1. Download the App and sign in
        2. Tap “My Events” to locate your order and view your tickets
        3. To get in, simply scan your ticket right from your phone

        TIP: View your tickets before you go so they’re loaded in the app, even when WiFi is slow.

        Want more info? Learn how mobile entry is making it safer and easier to get into events.

      • Why would a venue or Event Organizer not allow paper tickets?

        We work with venues and Event Organizers to make the mobile entry process easy to use and to reduce fraud so that the people getting into the show are the fans that bought the tickets.

        Paper tickets are more susceptible to illegal duplication, theft, and fraud compared to tickets on your phone. Ticketmaster is always innovating and working on new products and programs to eliminate ticket fraud to create a safer live event ticketing experience for fans.

      • Can I take a screenshot of my mobile tickets?

        To fight fraud, Ticketmaster launched SafeTix™, which uses an encrypted barcode that automatically refreshes every few seconds. This enhancement protects against tickets being screenshotted or photocopied and sold multiple times by unscrupulous resellers. Because of this, a screenshot of a mobile ticket cannot be used as an entry method.

        When you’re entering with a mobile ticket, you’ll need to show the real thing on your Ticketmaster app or phone’s wallet app.

      • How do I view tickets I bought online?

        To view tickets purchased online, open our app or visit Ticketmaster.com on your browser. Sign in to your account and locate your order.

        From here you’ll be able to view your tickets, save mobile tickets to your phone’s wallet, transfer them to a friend, or list them for sale on our marketplace.

      • What is a presale and how do I get access?

        Presales are special early-bird sales held by the Event Organizer.

        Some tickets are made available to a certain group of fans before the general public, usually to recognize those in fan clubs and customer loyalty programs.

        Not all events will have presales and getting access to one doesn’t necessarily guarantee a fan a ticket.

        Here are a few examples of presales and how you can get access:

        Venue Presales
        Certain venues may host presales. If your favorite theatre or comedy club has a mailing list or newsletter, be sure to sign up to see if it offers early access to tickets.

        Credit Card Presales
        Credit card companies or banks — like American Express, Citibank, and Chase — may offer their Card Members presales for shows as a perk for being a customer.

        You may already have access to some of these sales, so check with your credit card company for any benefits and/or assistance in shopping for live events.

        Fan Club Presale
        There are perks to being a devoted fan. Fan clubs and artist/team communities often give their members presale access to recognize loyalty.

        Check out the websites of your favorite performers and teams to see how you can participate and take full advantage of your fanhood.

      • How do I get help?

        Visit Our Help Center
        Our Help Center can assist you in finding answers to the most common questions.

        Talk to Someone
        Our award-winning Fan Support Team is always on your side. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

        If you don't see your answer here, visit our Fan Support Site.

      Certain links and information on this site are specific to the United States and may not reflect all products and operations in other markets.