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ABT Met season ticketing strategy


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#1 mussel

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 12:16 PM

According to ABT & Met insiders and public information, and many of you may have already knew, here's the order in which seats are filled:

1. Regular subscriptions renewal, renewing subscribers can request seat improvement.

2. New regular subscriptions.

3. Trio subscriptions renewal.

4. New Trio subscriptions.

5. Single ticket orders from renewed subscribers.

6. One-week exchange period before box office opens to public in which subscribers can exchange their tickets and purchase additional tickets.

7. Box office opens to general public.

If you want to exchange your subscription tickets for better seats during the exchange period, wait until later that day, more good seats will be released into the pool from subscriber who exchange seats earlier.

Trio subscribers can buy as few as 3 performances and as many as they want in their subscriptions, they'll get the best available seats in each performance but they'll not get the same seats for each performance like regular subcribers do.

The wild card here is the house seats which ABT reserves for VIPs, corporate sponsors, individual donors, and 5-star hotel concierges..., etc. Those house seats are creme de la creme and if they are not sold ABT will release them days before the performances. I've seen those seats being released in real time at the Met website as I was browsing the seating chart. If you are a procrastinator, you may be able to score those house seats, and I have. However, because of the dynamic pricing (new last year), you may have to pay a higher price for those tickets.

Dynamic pricing doesn't affect subscribers who try to exchange their tickets price wise. For example if a single ticket holder wants to exchange a ticket for a different date or section, he or she will need to pay the price difference between the original price and the higher dynamic pricing price. A subscription ticket holder doesn't have to pay the dynamic price difference if it's an even exchange, if it's not, he or she needs only pay the original price difference. So if you are going to see at least 3 performances but can't decide which, it may be wise to do a trio subscription just for the purpose of locking in the price to exchange for those creme de la creme house seats later.

Also, there are usually people try to sell their tickets in front of the theater or the plaza, you could score some pretty good seats at a very good price. I have.

#2 California

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 01:38 PM

Am I correct that the only situations in which you can pick the actual seat you are buying is #6 & #7 (other than #1 keeping the same seats)?

#3 Barbara

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 01:59 PM

I've always tried (not always successfully) to get in the ticket exchange line as early as possible. Never considered going later in the day although I get your point. I guess I think everyone is trying to exchange for the same performance I am so the early bird....

#4 mussel

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:46 AM

Am I correct that the only situations in which you can pick the actual seat you are buying is #6 & #7 (other than #1 keeping the same seats)?


That's my understanding. Major donors always have access to all the actual available seats, being a 99% that I am I don't have that access.

I've always tried (not always successfully) to get in the ticket exchange line as early as possible. Never considered going later in the day although I get your point. I guess I think everyone is trying to exchange for the same performance I am so the early bird....


There's a trade off between being an early bird and a late comer during the exchange week. Early birds have the first dibs of whatever seats available while late comers have access to subscription seats just released by the early birds.

I renewed my subscription along with an order for a bunch of single tickets last year, I exchanged some of my existing single seatsj and bought additional ones and got hit with the dynamic pricing penalty. I just renewed my subscription with no single ticket order but will buy additonal tickets with the Trio this year. Remember there will be no dynamic pricing penalty if you exchange with your subscription tickets later in the season.

With many epic castings, like Osipova/Kobborg/Vasiliev, Vishneva/Seminonova, Cojocaru/Osipova, Vishneva/Osipova...etc, there're going to be many sold-outs. In addition to NYCB, you also need to figure out your budgets and schedules for the Australian and the Mikhailovsky across the plaza, and POB this comig spring/summer season.

#5 Birdsall

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:03 AM

So are you saying that come April 1st there will be completely sold out shows and zero tickets available? I am interested in going to two Bayaderes. Thursday with Vasiliev and Friday with Vishneva and Osipova. Is there no hope in getting single tickets for those shows on April 1st?

#6 California

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

So are you saying that come April 1st there will be completely sold out shows and zero tickets available? I am interested in going to two Bayaderes. Thursday with Vasiliev and Friday with Vishneva and Osipova. Is there no hope in getting single tickets for those shows on April 1st?

Have they ever sold out entirely on subscriptions and those subscriber exchanges before 4/1? The last two years, I was able to get all sorts of great seats for the most popular performances on April 1 and a few even later than that. Not just a seat, but great seats, with lots to choose from. The Met is such a big house, it seems unlikely things will be different in 2012. (Touch wood!)

#7 Birdsall

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:45 AM


So are you saying that come April 1st there will be completely sold out shows and zero tickets available? I am interested in going to two Bayaderes. Thursday with Vasiliev and Friday with Vishneva and Osipova. Is there no hope in getting single tickets for those shows on April 1st?

Have they ever sold out entirely on subscriptions and those subscriber exchanges before 4/1? The last two years, I was able to get all sorts of great seats for the most popular performances on April 1 and a few even later than that. Not just a seat, but great seats, with lots to choose from. The Met is such a big house, it seems unlikely things will be different in 2012. (Touch wood!)


Thank you, California! That's a relief. I already booked my flight and reserved a hotel and if I don't get tickets to the two Bayaderes I want I wouldn't have even booked all that. I can deal with just getting tickets to one of the performances, but I am hoping to get tickets to both Thursday and Friday nights.

#8 MakarovaFan

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:06 PM

I can't wait until April 1st to get my Osipova/Hallberg "R&J" and the Vishneva/Osipova "Bayadere" tix.

#9 Birdsall

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:43 PM

MakarovaFan, if there are tickets still left on April 1st I plan to be at the Vishneva/Osipova Bayadere also! That should be great!!! Vasiliev is Solor the night before. So I am going to get a ticket for that also. I saw a YouTube clip of his Solor, and it is amazing! I think he is more amazing than Hallberg personally, but Hallberg seems more refined, so it is give and take. But Vasiliev has a backbend beyond belief when he goes down on one knee!!!

#10 puppytreats

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:55 AM

In addition to NYCB, you also need to figure out your budgets and schedules for the Australian and the Mikhailovsky across the plaza, and POB this comig spring/summer season.



I bought an ABT 6 series subscription, and I would love to see the 4 companies you mention, in addition to the Chinese company, but I can't justify it to myself, when I add in parking, tolls, and incidental costs, and have a bad book purchasing habit (although I have used the library and netflix for many dvds and books on ballet).

#11 mussel

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:37 AM

So are you saying that come April 1st there will be completely sold out shows and zero tickets available? I am interested in going to two Bayaderes. Thursday with Vasiliev and Friday with Vishneva and Osipova. Is there no hope in getting single tickets for those shows on April 1st?


You should be fine, there will be plenty of good seats when the box office opens on 4/1. What I was trying to say there'll be plenty of eventual sold-outs but that'll happen well after 4/1.

I am relatively new comer to ballet and I remember only 2 occasions where there were near sold-outs when the box office opened. I went to the box office on opening day trying to buy Ferri's farewell performance, I waited for about 3 hours and managed to get a Family Circle side seat, all the lower tier seats were gone by the time I got to the window. When ABT annouced Nina's retirement, I figured the only way I could get a decent seat was thru a subscription and that's when I first became a subscriber and I still have the subscription. My friend went to the box office on opening day and couldn't get a ticket, she later ponied up and bought a post-perfomance dinner package for about $500. I think the shortages were partly caused by ABT taking lots of house seats for its donors and to repackage in these 2 occasions.


In addition to NYCB, you also need to figure out your budgets and schedules for the Australian and the Mikhailovsky across the plaza, and POB this comig spring/summer season.



I bought an ABT 6 series subscription, and I would love to see the 4 companies you mention, in addition to the Chinese company, but I can't justify it to myself, when I add in parking, tolls, and incidental costs, and have a bad book purchasing habit (although I have used the library and netflix for many dvds and books on ballet).


I seldom pay for parking when I do it's usually Sat. afternoon and use a garage 3 blocks from LC off Amsterdam that charges only $10 including tax for the whole day. If you know where and when to look, you shouldn't have trouble finding free street parking. I am not aware of any Chinese company visiting NY, were you referring to Shen Yun (sp.)?

#12 RUKen

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:17 PM

If you want to exchange your subscription tickets for better seats during the exchange period, wait until later that day, more good seats will be released into the pool from subscriber who exchange seats earlier.

Trio subscribers can buy as few as 3 performances and as many as they want in their subscriptions, they'll get the best available seats in each performance but they'll not get the same seats for each performance like regular subcribers do.

...Dynamic pricing doesn't affect subscribers who try to exchange their tickets price wise. For example if a single ticket holder wants to exchange a ticket for a different date or section, he or she will need to pay the price difference between the original price and the higher dynamic pricing price. A subscription ticket holder doesn't have to pay the dynamic price difference if it's an even exchange, if it's not, he or she needs only pay the original price difference. So if you are going to see at least 3 performances but can't decide which, it may be wise to do a trio subscription just for the purpose of locking in the price to exchange for those creme de la creme house seats later.


Just to be clear, if we subscribe to 3 performances, and are not satisfied with the particular seats that we have been assigned in our chosen section for a performance, can we exchange them during the one-week exchange period for other seats in the same section, on the same date, without penalty? Can we exchange them in May or June for better seats in the same section, if they open up, without paying more?

I'm sorry if this is redundant, but with the multiple ticket-purchase plans it's difficult to understand exactly what can and cannot be done. Any clarification that can be provided will be greatly appreciated.

#13 angelica

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

I just called the Met and ordered a "select your own performances" "subscription" of four performances, and was able to select a section but not specific seats within that section. I was able, however, to narrow it down to Row such-and-such to Row such-and-such, not directly behind the conductor. I was told that if I don't like the seats, when the tickets arrive I can return them and asked for "upgraded" seats. I can also show up at the box office during Exchange Week and exchange the tickets for seats that I can choose myself from what's available. Hope this helps somewhat.

#14 California

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

I can also show up at the box office during Exchange Week and exchange the tickets for seats that I can choose myself from what's available.


I called last spring and got essentially the same information. Alas, the only way to take advantage of Exchange Week is to physically show up at the New York box office. (If I'm wrong on that, please correct me!) It's clear (both from this board and from many people I chat with at intermissions) that a great many people fly in from all over the country in the spring, especially during the weeks when both ABT and NYCB are in residence at Lincoln Center.

#15 RUKen

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:15 AM

One-week exchange period before box office opens to public in which subscribers can exchange their tickets and purchase additional tickets.


Is the one-week exchange period the last week of March?


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