12 Smart Ways to Score Hamilton Tickets

By Carrie Kirby on 1 March 2017 0 comments

Hamilton fever has spread through my family like the measles.

First, it infected my tween, and as she commanded our Amazon Echo to play the original cast recording day after day. Then I caught a touch of it myself. I was a bit surprised when my 10-year-old came home with a severe case of Hamilton fever, which she apparently caught from her playmates. But I was most surprised when my 7-year-old son not only took to playing the soundtrack in his bedroom, but started peppering me with questions about the Revolution and the Continental Congress.

The worst symptom of Hamilton fever is the uncontrollable longing to see the show live — a show that is completely sold out in my city, San Francisco. And in Chicago. And in New York City, practically. I felt helpless.

So what's a mom to do, if she wants to encourage her kids in their love of both musical theater and American history, but she isn't able to snag face value tickets the day they go on sale? It turns out, there are a few strategies for snagging Hamilton tickets without spending four figures (each!).

Tickets at Face Value or Less

Believe it or not, you can score Hamilton tickets for face value or less.

1. Keep in Touch With Your Credit Card

Before Hamilton tickets went on sale to the public in San Francisco, American Express cardholders got access to a presale. Now, I waited in the online queue for this presale all day and my number never came up, but still. It was an opportunity, and I'm watching my email to see if Amex offers any more sale opportunities, should the local run be extended, or maybe for the touring show's next cities.

2. Enter a Lottery

My tween actually informed me of this option. For the Broadway show, you can enter a digital lottery every morning at 8 a.m. to win the privilege of buying two tickets, at $10 each, for that night's performance. Usually about 10,000 people enter, so your odds are definitely better than winning the Powerball. The Chicago online lotto works the same way, but it opens at 9 a.m. The San Francisco run, which opens March 10, will also have a lottery, but they haven't announced the details.

3. Wait for It

A couple of hours before curtain, theaters generally open the box office and sell any tickets they have on hand, and possibly standing room tickets, for face value. Where do these last-minute tickets come from? Cancellations and "house seats," which are tickets the theater management was saving in case a VIP dropped by. But don't get too excited: So many people wait in line for same-day Hamilton tickets in New York that the theater has had to ban tents, chairs, and placeholders. So you can't use TaskRabbit to pay someone to wait for you, and you can't take a break.

4. Enter a Raffle

Lin-Manuel Miranda has raffled off chances to see different Hamilton productions, with the entry fee being donations to Planned Parenthood. Check back to see if he starts a new raffle.

5. Try Same-Day Ticket Booths

I don't know if Hamilton tickets will ever be available at the same day, half-price tickets booth in my city, but it's a shot, and you know I'm not throwing that away.

6. Check With the Box Office Nonstop

Tickets do pop up on the official box office website, even for sold-out shows. After failing to get tickets in the Amex presale, I joined the online queue when tickets went on sale to the public — and failed to get tickets then, too. But the next day, I returned to the site and noticed that one small group of tickets was suddenly available.

If You Can Pay More Than Face Value

If you've set aside some extra funds for tickets to Hamilton, here's how to snag those tickets.

7. Make a Donation

Broadway Cares will sell you a face-value ticket, but you have to make a tax-deductible donation to get it. Reportedly, the required donation for Hamilton tickets is $601.

8. Ask a Hotel Concierge

"We all have our go-to ticket brokers to arrange killer seats for shows (yes, even Hamilton)," Waldo Hernandez, concierge at The Carlyle, told Jetsetter. Some concierges might even have the connections to get a leftover house seat at face value. If that happens, consider yourself blessed and tip accordingly.

9. Buy From the Secondary Market

On Vivid, the official reseller for Hamilton tickets, people are selling tickets they bought (presumably at face value) for anywhere from about $500-$2,000 or more. To save money, look for last-minute price drops. Hamilton tickets are also listed on StubHub and, of course, Craigslist. But one benefit of Vivid is that they require sellers to upload their receipts and images of their driver's license, so you know they really have Hamilton tickets before you buy.

10. Buy a Package Deal

Luxury hotels have offered "Hamilton packages," and last time I was in Wisconsin, a local travel agency was offering a bus trip to Chicago that included tickets. Look around, look around.

11. Bid in a Charity Auction

Kids' schools and private clubs are likely auctioning off Hamilton tickets for above face value at their spring galas this year. If you were going to donate anyway, maybe you can get something for yourself while you help the cause.

12. Fly to London

At press time, tickets are still available online for the London production. For Thursday matinees. In 2018.

At least that should give you plenty of time to buy plane tickets and get a hotel.

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