How to save money on tickets: Max Deale dishes out advice in Sold Out... So What!

“What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. What Men Want: Tickets for the World Series.” – Dave Barry

Max Deale is a ticket hound. As a self-described Ticket Jedi, he knows the ins and outs of getting cheap tickets for the best seats in the house. I met Max last weekend at a friend’s summer soiree. When the conversation turned to his pending book tour and the promotional power of blogs, he jumped at the chance to give me an autographed review copy of Sold Out… So What!

As I was still savoring my first cocktail and trying to get my hands on some hors d’oeuvres, I glanced at the cover illustration and couldn’t help but peg him for a fan of Howard Stern or perhaps, Joe Francis, the guy that made the Girls Gone Wild videos. Apparently, his target audience is the twentysomething, straight dude with a love of heavy metal bands and sporting events.

I thought about giving the book back since I didn’t think it was a fit for readers over at Queercents, but then I decided to be a bit more open minded. After all, he seemed open-minded. Here he was, upon the invitation of his girlfriend, working the room at a party primarily filled with hot-looking gay men. The least I could do is try and have the same inclusive mindset.

So I took the book. And this week I read it in less time than it takes me to get through an issue of The New Yorker. Before you dismiss it as self-published schlock, hear me out about how it can save you money.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve only been to about 10 concerts in my entire life… and this includes the 3 times I saw Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith as a born-again, Christ-like teenager. Obviously, I’m not much of a concert-goer, although we splurged for Babs back in 2006 (at $200 a pop for her “final” farewell tour). Where was Max then? Sitting in the third row behind Hollywood’s A-List but in front of the D-List. I don’t think he has an affinity for Streisand, but if he did, this would have been the likely scenario.

The chapters in Sold Out… So What! are sectioned into quarters and filled with a lot of sports analogies. He refers to his tips as “plays” and uses the term “stealing bases” to describe techniques for landing in a better seat section. With regards to buying cheap tickets, I was expecting more than the “working Craigslist or eBay on the day of the show” ideas, but there are a few other plays to get sold out tickets when brokers and scalpers are grabbing up most tickets before they go on sale these days. Even the New York Times chimed in last year with the same complaint about fans losing out to the inflated prices. Most of his techniques though require you to be flexible and willing to snag a ticket on the day of or hours before the show or event.

That said, the best ideas in the book are his thoughts on getting closer once you get in. But keep in mind, that it takes a certain personality to follow his plays. I remember doing this twice with Partner #2 – once during Lilith Fair and another at a tennis event – both times we got caught and were told to leave. At the tennis event, we were with Kristy McNichol and even her 70s star power couldn’t convince security that we belonged in the VIP section.

Needless to say, I’m not one for getting closer. But Max offers some creative ways to make this happen if you’re so inclined. So if you attend a lot of concerts or sporting events, then this book will save you money. You can order it on Amazon or by visiting

In the meantime, I have one signed copy that is yours for the taking. Give me a good comment about this ticket topic over at Queercents and I’ll pick the best one so you can get your game on with Sold Out… So What!