What should I expect when buying tickets for prominent events?

As fans ourselves, we understand the excitement and suspense that comes with buying tickets to an event that is in high demand. Preparing for a major onsale ahead of time can help!


This article describes the ticket purchasing process for high-demand events and onsales put on by SeatGeek's partner teams and venues. For all other events, or for additional information on buying tickets on SeatGeek, check out these articles!

Here are our tips and callouts on what you can expect!

Access codes

For some events you will need an access code to access specific onsales or inventories. An access code is a code which grants access to special inventory for a specific event. Access codes are most commonly required for tickets being sold during things like presales and membership-only sales.

Not all events will not require you to have an access code in order to buy tickets; however, if you are eligible for an access code to any of SeatGeek's partner events, you will usually receive your access code through direct communications from the event promoter or venue themselves. SeatGeek does not give out or in any way disseminate access code information unless otherwise explicitly stated. Generally speaking, there are two main types of access code:

Type 1 -  Used to 'unlock' a presale:

This type of access code is used to gain access to tickets before they are available to the general public. Most of the time, presales are for fan-club members, season ticket holders, and subscribers to major sponsors of the event. If you are eligible for this type of access code, you will most likely have received an email or other form of communication from the performer, venue, or sponsor with the code and details. 

Type 2 - Used to view special inventory for an event:

This type of access code is used after an event's presale to access special inventory that the venue or event promoter has set aside. Oftentimes, this type of access code will grant access to inventory that falls under a special offer (like a buy-one-get-one offer from the promoter).

Please note: Access codes provided by your credit card company will require the use of the associated eligible card to complete the purchase.

Waiting rooms

SeatGeek's platform can get really busy when high profile events first go on sale. To ensure that as many people as possible can access tickets fairly, you may be entered into a virtual waiting room before you can view the event's ticket listings.

Once the sale begins, the waiting room page will refresh and you will be given a spot in a virtual queue. At this point, we recommend that you do not refresh your browser window because doing so may cause you to lose your spot in the queue. 

If you join the queue after a sale has begun, don't worry! You will still be entered into the queue - on a first come first serve basis - for the next available spot to shop. 

When it’s your turn, you will have access to a seating map, ticket listings, and details about all the available inventory at that time.

Popular events can sell out quickly and buying options can vary widely depending on availability, event type, and possible venue restrictions even if you are the very first person in the queue. 

Seating maps and filters

Seating maps and search filters will be available to review when tickets are on sale. These maps will give you a clear visual on how the event will be set up and what seat locations and numbers are available to purchase. To see specific sections and seats, you can zoom in on the seating map by clicking the (+/-) on the top of the map when viewing the event page on a computer. 

Through this desktop view, you will also be able to select the exact seats you want to purchase! 

When shopping through a mobile phone via our app or mobile site, you will only have the option to select the section and row. The specific seats offered will be advised during check out. 

When viewing an event, tap or click the buttons at the top of the ticket listings to sort by quantity, price, ticket type, Deal Score and more! To learn more about search filers, check out our FAQS here.

Most events will include a “Best Available” search option. With Best Available tickets, we'll check all sections and prices to provide you the best ticket options at a specific price point, depending on availability.


Once the Best Available tickets are selected, you will have the option to either continue to checkout or to search for new tickets. If you pass on the original tickets offered, they may be offered to the next person waiting to buy tickets and they may sell out while you are searching.

Accessible seating

To purchase ADA seats, select the ADA “Accessible” filter on the event page when using the SeatGeek mobile app or online at SeatGeek.com. Available ADA seating will be labeled icons and specific verbiage to review before proceeding to check out. ADA seating is often semi-limited so we and our partners ask that you take care to not purchase ADA seats unless you are in need of them.

VIP packages

For some events, VIP packages will be available to purchase. SeatGeek works with third-party providers to offer VIP amenities and add-ons in these packages. When available, you can click Packages on the listings page to choose the package(s) that interest you.

Specific buying tips

  1. Having a SeatGeek account created before the onsale date can help make the buying process faster and more efficient. If you do not have a SeatGeek account, visit seatgeek.com/#register to create one!
  2. We recommend verifying your contact information on your SeatGeek account before the onsale begins. To learn more about verifying your email and phone number, check out our FAQs here
  3. Adding your payment information to your SeatGeek account in advance can help ensure that you can proceed through check out quickly. During check out, you will be able to select one card to use to purchase your tickets. Just head to your “My Account” tab from a desktop or your “Me” icon from the mobile app to update or add information to your SeatGeek account. (Please note: You will still be asked for your card CVV number at check out for security purposes)
  4. If you are planning on using a SeatGeek promo code, check the listing to confirm if the tickets are promo code eligible. Some listings from our affiliate partners do not qualify. It’s really easy to see which listings are eligible, though! Once you find an event, click through to the event page to see the venue map. If you're using the app or mobile website, click on the Filters symbol and select Supports Promo Codes. If you're on desktop, click on the All Ticket Types drop-down and select Promo Eligible. Now, all of the listings that are displayed will be eligible for discounts! To learn more about SeatGeek promo codes check out our FAQs here
  5. Confirming you can log into your SeatGeek account without any password issues before the onsale date is very helpful. This can prevent log in issues when you are ready to shop for tickets. Need to reset your password? Click here for a step by step guide. 
  6. If you have enabled two- factor authentication on your account, you will need your phone with you in order to log into your account. 
  7. If you were provided an Access Code to view a specific inventory or presale, make sure you have it ready before the onsale starts. 
  8. Joining a waiting room long before the sale starts does not guarantee that you will be first in line since the queue will refresh once the onsale begins. 
  9. Throughout the check out process you can review and confirm your selected seat location is correct and fits your needs. If the tickets selected have specific guidelines like ADA seating or “Family Section”, you will see verbiage and or icons explaining the seat restrictions or perks.