As an overseer of group sales for Broadway shows, I have begun to observe a pattern. On the day of the show I hear from AT LEAST 2 or 3 people that “something has come up” and they are sorry to report but they just CANNOT make the show that night. I always feel bad for this person – such a bummer to miss a show you had been looking forward to.
That said, I have learned day of tickets can be tricky to unload – unless they are deemed free. Which puts me in the fun position of being the ticket fairy. Many times this spring I found myself heading to my son’s school, tickets in hand. I would literally stalk teachers to gift these now FREE tickets to (thanks to the generosity of the ticket holders).
I love that my friends would rather make sure their seats are filled and the value redeemed by a worthy viewer than just be tossed in the trash. I wondered though – is this the only way to go? So I sauntered up to the box office one day and asked.
Lo and behold I learned that my ticket holders DO have another option that is commonly practiced, but completely on the down low. It is called the ‘Past Dated’ policy. I went to three box offices to confirm this procedure and each and every one had a pre-printed slip of paper that they promptly handed over explaining the same version of the policy.
If you don’t feel like reading the above fine print… here is how it works:
After missing your show you can select another matinee or weeknight performance to go see. Just call the box office the morning of the day you want to see you show. Note, most box offices open at 10am and are open all day, which is kind of hard to fathom given the online nature of all our transactions these days. That box office person must go for LONG stretches of time in between human contact, which is why they will be so happy to hear from you!
Simply explain your situation and box office person will check availability for tickets that evening. If there is space for you and your past dated tickets he/she will take your name down and you can pick your new tickets up at will call that night. If there is not space, you might ask for advice on which evenings offer the best availability and try again on the suggested evening.
Broadway tickets are expensive and you had made the choice to purchase them, which means at one point there was something inside you that wanted to see the show. And so you should. That said, if you are in my group and want to gift your ticket(s) – I am your gal – I am always happy to make someone’s day!
But if you want take in that play or musical, then hang on to those un-used tickets (this is a key part of the strategy). If you are in my group your tickets will be in an accessorized and easy to spot white envelope. As long as the show is still running, the box office will honor the value of the ticket so grab that envelope and go. Phew. Such a relief to learn this option exists and to tell others about it! Grab your tickets… find another date on the calendar and exercise your past dated ticket option!
Side note: This only works if there are available seats. So if you have tickets for a show that is in high demand like Hamilton, Harry Potter or Springsteen, Grab Your Tickets and GO!