TIX #ONSCENE about: What is TKTS?

Where is it?

If you’ve ever wandered around Times Square, I’m sure you’ve seen these huge bright red steps that people take a thousand selfies on top of.

⬇️That’s TDF’s TKTS Booth ⬇️

source  - There are two other TKTS Booths: one at  South Street Seaport , the other at  Lincoln Center .

source - There are two other TKTS Booths: one at South Street Seaport, the other at Lincoln Center.

What is it?

Its purpose is to sell same-day discounted tickets (20 to 50% off) to select Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

Click here for real-time listings of the productions currently available at the TKTS Booths.

What do I need to do?

You should have at least three shows in mind before heading to the TKTS Booth. Arrive at least 45 minutes before showtime because there’s usually a line, and you’ll still need time to get to the theatre. Plus, popular shows sell out hours in advance, so plan accordingly!

I’ll give you an anecdote about a time I went to the Times Square TKTS Booth, just so you know I’m not messing around when I say get there early.

I went on my 20th birthday hoping to get discount tickets to Waitress while Sara Bareilles was in the cast. I convinced one of my friends to come along with me. I didn’t have any other choices. But alas, the lady at the Booth said that Waitress was SOLD OUT.

We got off the line to look at the list of shows that were still available and decided on SpongeBob SquarePants. But the lady said there were no seats together and my friend made a big fuss over wanting to be next to me.


We ended up seeing Perfect Crime for $45 each since it was Off-Broadway, but it was meh. Do not be an idiot like me! Have a few choices in mind beforehand or you will waste your time and $$$.

How can I ensure I get tickets for THE show I want?

Check the real-time listings online to see if the show you want is available, and then arrive at the Booth when it opens. (You can find hours here.) Keep in mind that very popular shows (The Lion King, Hamilton) are never offered at TKTS.

How does all this work?

Shows that aren’t sold out a few hours before showtime allow TKTS to offer available tickets at a discount. The producers set the discount. As of fall 2018, TKTS lists the actual ticket prices rather than percentage discounts, so you know how much you’ll be paying before you get to the window.

How much should I expect to pay?

Broadway shows are usually around $75 to $95. Off-Broadway shows are around $50.

There are some additional fees, though:

“TKTS fee: There is a $6 per ticket service fee that goes to TDF. Facility fees:  These fees, which can range from $1.00 - $2.50 per ticket (depending on the theatre), are added on to the ticket price by the individual theatres.  
Broadway League fee: Shows whose producers are members of Broadway’s trade association, The Broadway League, add a $1.00 per ticket “Broadway League” fee.”

- from the TDF website

TKTS in America is operated by TDF. Click here for more info.