An Editor’s Guide to Cheap Tickets in NYC


The new TKTS booth at the David Rubenstein Atrium is a great place to get discount tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. (COURTESY OF THE THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND)


If you’re anything like me, going to see plays, musicals, exhibits and galleries is your favorite past-time. Luckily, New York City offers phenomenal discounts for students looking for inspiration in the arts or to just relax and enjoy the show. Deals don’t come easy though, and as someone who spent most of her freshman year in rush ticket lines, refreshing her email to see if she won Broadway lotteries and scouring the internet for discount codes to dance performances, I’m here to give tips and tricks so that you can become an NYC arts connoisseur on a college student budget.

For anything cheap in NYC, rush ticket lines will become your best friend. Rush lines aren’t for the faint of heart, however. Tickets aren’t guaranteed and rush lines sometimes require theatergoers to wake up extra early just to secure a spot in line.

If you are willing to work for it, rush lines are any theatregoers greatest ally. Last year I attempted to rush tickets for “The Color Purple” on three separate occasions. The first time, I was extremely unsuccessful, arriving to find a line that stretched across 45th street. Despite arriving an hour earlier the next week to try again, I was still unable to secure tickets as I was too far back in line. It was only on my third attempt when I woke up at 7 a.m on a Saturday, that I was finally able to secure tickets. I ended up getting $35 orchestra seats and was completely blown away by the performance I had seen.

Rush lines aren’t just limited to Broadway, however. Many venues, like Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, offer day-of rush tickets to various events such as opera, ballet and music. The New York City Ballet runs a $30 for 30 program, where patrons under 30 have the ability to purchase $30 tickets to that day’s performance through their rush line. The Metropolitan Opera also offers a day-of student rush.

TKTS has also added a pop-up booth in Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium that will be open until November. TKTS offers day-of tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway performances. Located, right across the street from campus, it provides a close alternative to getting inexpensive tickets.

Online ticket lotteries are fantastic ways to test your luck. Broadway Direct houses excellent ticket lotteries for shows such as “Hamilton,” “On Your Feet,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.” These are great, as you can enter them on your way to class or from the comfort of your bed.

Your Fordham ID is also an excellent way to get tickets to anything in NYC. Whenever you are attempting to buy tickets to something, flash your student ID and ask if they have a discount. Places like The Guggenheim, The Whitney and MOMA will honor a reduced fare if you are a student. MOMA also offers an excellent free Fridays program, between the hours of 4 and 8p.m. The Met also offers a “pay as you wish” opportunity where you are able to pay whatever you would like to enter the museum. In the past, I have paid as little as $1 to see the entire museum.

The Fordham campus is also a great place to get cheap tickets. Events like Theater Thursdays, sponsored by the Residence Hall Association (RHA), offer tickets to Broadway shows at a great price. All you have to do is look out for posters announcing the events around campus and visit the Office of Student Involvement for more information and to get tickets. Many clubs also offer outings to events. Just be on the lookout for posters all around campus. They are your ally and will help you see a ton of the fantastic work that is being showcased in NYC.

Being a student in NYC is a wonderful chance to explore new outlets and see many wonderful performances. Be smart, never pay full price and take advantage of the amazing art this city has to offer.  See a different show, challenge yourself and have fun. After all, you’re in NYC!