If you can get an early start on your day in New York City, you can probably score some discount tickets to a Broadway show. Most shows offers some sort of “rush” tickets that are available for sale when the theater box office opens on the day of the performance. The number of tickets available are limited, so getting there when the box office opens, or soon after, is a good idea.
Broadwayspotted.com posts a very helpful weekly “rush report” that tells you how many people are usually in line at each of the theaters a half hour before the box office opens. With that information, you can judge your likelihood of getting a ticket and how early you should arrive.
Some rush tickets are only available for students and some are limited to people below a certain age, but many theaters have general rush tickets that are available for anyone to purchase. There is usually a limit to how many tickets each person can purchase. Many of the theaters require that the purchases be made with cash. Rush seats are often in the first row of the theater. Rush ticket prices vary, but most are in the $25 to $40 range.
Some of the most popular shows issue their rush tickets through a lottery. First, you go to the ticket office a few hours before show time to sign up for the lottery, then a select number of names are drawn and the lottery-winners are allowed to purchase tickets at the discount rush ticket price.
Some good resources for rush ticket policies are provided below.
Broadway Theater Rush Ticket Information
Lottery and Rush Policies – Start your search here. A great resource from Broadwayspotted.com which includes info on all the shows with rush tickets available.
Rush Report – A weekly report on how many people are in line for rush tickets before the box offices open. Includes weekday and weekend information. Week days usually have shorter lines.
Playbill’s rush, lottery, and standing room only ticket policies report – Another very good source of information.
Tixs4students.com – If you’re at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, you can apply for a membership to purchase discount theater tickets. There’s a $5 annual fee and they validate your student status.
New York University’s guide to discount tickets for students – Some of this is only applies to NYU students, but there’s good information here for discount ticket shopping in general.