It can be very difficult to get tickets to certain events in the Valley of the Sun, such as Broadway shows like The Lion King or Phantom of the Opera, sporting events like the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Suns, or certain Arizona Diamondbacks games, Chicago Cubs tickets during Spring Training, NASCAR tickets and more. It's even worse if you are visiting the area, and want a hot ticket that all the locals bought up months prior.
So what's a person to do?
1 - Call in favors.
Do you know the governor? The mayor of any Phoenix area city? The president of any large banks or corporations? Is your girlfriend's cousin married to the stage director of the arena? Now's the time to ask for a favor.
2 - Go to Ebay.
Someone at Ebay may be selling just the tickets you are looking for, but beware--there are risks associated with buying anything on Ebay. Be certain that you believe you are buying real tickets for real seats from a reputable party who had a reason to own those tickets to begin with.
3 - Search the resale forums.
This applies mostly to sporting events, where some sports teams have specific forums where season ticket holders can offer tickets for sale that they can't use themselves. Your risks are similar to buying from Ebay. Go to the official web site of the sports team, and look for a link to a ticket exchange. Make sure you read the rules and disclaimers of the forum.
4 - Buy from a ticket broker.
By using an authorized ticket broker you can avoid certain risks. Tickets are guaranteed, delivery is fast and brokers often have good seats available. Remember these are ticket resellers and you will pay more -- sometimes much, much more -- than the price printed on the ticket when buying from them.
If you are looking for hard to find tickets for a Phoenix event, try TicketsNow.com.
5 - Check other ticket aggregators for discounted tickets.
I have successfully used two different companies for discounts to hard-to-find tickets. Even better, they offer them at cheaper than face value. Check out Goldstar.com. Want to know how that works? Here are the details.
6 - Check the phone book.
There are about 100 listings in the local phone book for local ticket brokers, many of which have physical premises. Here's the online phone book for the Phoenix area. Use the phrase "ticket sales" to get all the listings.
7 - Find a scalper.
Ticket scalping is legal in Arizona, although there are some restrictions on the activity. According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3718, ticket scalping is prohibited "within two hundred feet of an entry to the stadium, arena, theater or other place where an event is being held, or of the entry to a contiguous parking area." This means that you will often see ticket scalpers for various events standing across the street from an event. Depending on a ticket scalper is risky for several reasons. First, you don't know if there will be any scalpers at the event when you get there.
Second, you don't know if the tickets are legit or not. But if you can get past those first two issues, and you decide to find a scalper, make sure you bring a seating chart with you. And bring plenty of cash.