Probably not the best place to ask but I'm looking to get tickets for the Saints Vs Bears on September 18th as part of a trip I'm planning.
I've checked ticketmaster and it looks like the tickets haven't been released for sale yet and/or have already sold out?
Any guys out there from N'Orleans who can let me know the best way to get some tickets for a game? I've never bought sports tickets from US websites so I'm not sure the ones I can trust.
Okay, let me explain how these things work.
The NFL sells tickets first to those who are season-ticket holders (meaning they have promised to buy all the tickets for the entire season) and who got an account and in some cases "stood in line" (meaning waited for years on the "wait list") to qualify to get these tickets (the amount of time one has to wait to buy season tickets ranges from zero days in places like Oakland, California to over 20 years in places like Green Bay, Wisconsin). New Orleans "wait list" is currently estimated to be over 3 years long.
Now the people who buy the season tickets have a choice--they can go to the game--or they can offer the tickets for sale to others. This can be done in various ways--by listing it in the paper, by selling through a ticket broker, or by putting the tickets up for auction.
However, this year there is a real possibility that the NFL (national football league) will go on strike and no games will be played. As a result, the NFL decided to start their own "NFL ticket exchange" in order to allow season-ticket holders to sell their tickets, with the guarantee from the NFL that if the games aren't played--anyone who bought a ticket through the "ticket exchange" will be reimbursed 100% for what they paid for their tickets--(otherwise, why would anyone possibly buy the tickets--much less pay a premium for them?). This is actually a great deal because in years past if you bought tickets and a game got cancelled (this almost never happened, but it has once or twice--for example, when the roof collapsed last year at the Minnesota stadium the day before the game because of all the snow on the roof) you would only get the "face price" of the ticket paid back to you.
As a result, this NFL ticket exchange is really the only "safe" place to buy a NFL ticket right now. For the New Orleans Saints home games, this website is located here:
If you go to this site, you'll see the first tickets offered are for the game against the Chicago Bears on September 18th. Currently, tickets cost between $125 and $973 each at this site (depending upon how great the location is). However, since the NFL doesn't want to send out tickets until they are sure that the games are going to get played, you can buy the tickets now--but you won't be able to get them sent to you until after September 8th or so.
If it were me, I'd buy from this site--but arrange to pick the tickets up via the "will call" windows at the stadium on the day of the game by showing my NFL Ticket Exchange receipt. This way if the game isn't played I'm guaranteed to get my money back--and if the game is played, I don't have to worry about whether the tickets will get to me via international mail before my trip starts.
Good luck getting the tickets you want--and I hope you enjoy what should be a fairly exciting game.
[ Edit: Edited on 29-Apr-2011, at 20:56 by Calcruzer ]
Legend, thanks Cal for taking the time to let me know the ins and outs, very informative reply and my mind is at rest now.
I was just reading up on the whole NFL lockout so fingers crossed things are sorted before the season is due to begin.
I will be looking to get some from the NFL Exchange, I notice the site has an e-ticket option which I assume will be the "will call" option i.e. emailed a code and collect on the day.
Thanks again for the information, looking forward to my 1st NFL game now so hopefully things are sorted for the Saints Vs Bears!
Hope you enjoy the game.
I made one mistake on the original post when I said that tickets ran from $125 to $193--when the correct amounts are $125 to $973 (I made the correction in the post above already).
Obviously tickets aren't cheap--but then the tickets down near the field go for a premium largely because they can be bought by companies for their employees or to give to their best customers as ways to keep them happy.
I hope you can find something in your price range--and I hope it's a wonderful game. Fortunately you picked two of the top teams in the league to go watch--so it should make for a very competitive game with a loud crowd.
If you want slightly lower prices, either go to a college game or come out and watch a game in Oakland in California. That team was so bad (and some of the crowd so rowdy) that two years ago that you could get tickets at $10 per game. Of course, like you, I prefer watching great teams playing other great teams. That's why my son and I went to watch the Stanford University vs University of Southern California football game last year--and considered flying all the way to Maryland to watch my favorite pro team, the Baltimore Ravens, when they were scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yeah in all honesty I'll probably be going for the nosebleeds but I'm sure I'll enjoy it being anywhere in the stadium. I get to catch some of the NFL over here on the odd Sunday evening when its on the sports channels, always looks like the crowd is having a ball.
I'm trying to mix in a few more events into the trip, depending on flights I might be able to catch a Yankees game - went to see Blue Jays Vs Phillies back in 2009 in Toronto - and will be going to see the UFC in New Orleans the day before the Saints game.
Its a shame we dont have the sporting mix over here in the UK, its football (soccer!) or nothing really, it doesn't help that my team (Leeds) have dropped a few divisions over the last few years too! We will be back!
Hope you enjoy the game.
Just wanted to follow up saying thanks for the help. I ended up buying two tickets from the NFL ticket exchange and went to see Miami Dolphins Vs New England Patriots (Tom Brady was awesome) and New Orleans Saints Vs Chicago Bears (I've never heard a crowd like it!!).
Thanks again, amazing experience.
Glad to hear you had a great time. I'm enjoying this year's NFL season so far as the Bay Area is doing pretty good six games into the season: SF 49ers 5-1 and Oakland Raiders 4-2.
We'll see how it goes as the season progresses--and I hope you get back to a NFL game either here in the states or over in London. (I understand Tampa Bay plays in the London game later this year).