Giants tickets are, historically, among the toughest in town to score. There are only eight home games a season, and nearly 95 percent of Giants Stadium’s 80,242 seats are occupied by season-ticket holders, with most of the rest going to players, coaches, and the team’s corporate partners. Oh, and the Giants are the reigning Super Bowl champions. So is it possible to get a pair of tickets without bankrupting yourself? To find out, I set out to buy two seats to the most coveted game of the year—Giants-Cowboys on November 2. (The Cowboys, traditionally among the Giants’ most hated rivals, are three-to-one favorites in Las Vegas to win the Super Bowl this year). My strategy? Use any means necessary. Here’s what I learned.
I. For the hell of it, try buying from the Giants.
A handful of Giants tickets went on sale to the general public on August 20 (at $170 to $210 for a pair), but there were none available for the Cowboys game when I tried to buy them that afternoon. Luckily, I’d signed up for the Giants’ season-ticket waiting list last year for just such an occasion. Though I’m decades away from my number coming up, being on the list is free and allows you to buy tickets from the team-sanctioned TicketExchange, which limits the resale price to 20 percent over face value. Unfortunately, there’s little incentive for fans to sell tickets through the site—they can get much more money through online dealers—so I come up dry.
II. Browse sites where fans can post tickets.
There’s no law in New Jersey (where the Giants play) against individuals reselling tickets at extreme markups, hence the popularity of sites where sellers set their own prices. I try the three most reliable of these sites—StubHub.com, RazorGator.com, and TicketsNow.com, a reseller owned by Ticketmaster. The cheapest seats are on TicketsNow: a pair in the farthest corner of the stadium, nosebleed section 304, for $396. Splurging on a halfway-decent pair, located in field-level section 102, would run me $578. Both of these are more than twice face value, so I continue my search.
III. Call a broker.
Since brokers buy tickets in lots and depend on high volume, not premium pricing, to earn profits, I figure they might beat the fan-site prices. I first call Mr. Tickets (718-842-5387), which a family member recommends. Cheapest pair: $510, in the very last row of section 306. I call five more brokers, culled from ads in the Post and this magazine. The best pair, in section 323, costs $400 from BT Tickets (800-438-7861). I decide to try calling in a favor—from the brother of a grade-school classmate, who works for a broker. I ask if he gets an employee discount (he does), and he says he’ll get back to me with a price.
IV. Bug friends, co-workers, and the rest of the Internet.
I don’t personally know anyone with season tickets, so I turn to Craigslist. A lot of the postings are junk, containing little more than a link to a broker’s site, but I contact two legit-seeming sellers—one gave his full name (usually a good sign on Craigslist), and the other said he’d meet in person to deliver the tickets. Neither responds to my e-mails. I post my own ad (seeking tickets from “kindhearted season-ticket holders”) and also post a message to my high school’s alumni forum. While I wait for responses, I e-mail co-workers and, for good measure, change my Facebook status to “Joe is looking for Giants-Cowboys tickets. Anyone have leads?”
V. Sift through your responses, and cross your fingers.
I get six replies in the first two days, all from Craigslist. One offers upper-level seats for $350—the best price I’ve seen so far, but still too expensive for such bad seats. Another has prime tickets in section 133 … for a ridiculous $1,400. I’m about to give up when my luck changes. I hear back from my ex-classmate’s brother: section 129, row B, $260 for the pair. Then the real prize: A season-ticket holder who can’t use his seats responds to my Craigslist ad: section 111—on the 50!—for $300, $1,100 less than they’re going for on StubHub. Score!