So you've decided to make the pilgrimage to Anfield and are trying to get your hot little hands on a ticket. Hooray! But how exactly does one go about doing that, you ask? There are many different options! Thus, I welcome you to the Foreigner's Guide to Getting a Ticket™.
Disclaimer: the tips listed below are a) ones that I have personally tried, and b) are official, legal channels through which you can get tickets. I won't be speaking about online ticket re-sellers that jack up prices, touts outside the stadium selling possibly fake tickets, or the friend of a friend who knows a guy who can get a ticket. If you're going to spend money to get to Liverpool, you want a ticket that is reliable and legitimate.
This guide is long. Sorry. Also, I make no claims that anything below could be described as fiscally responsible.
First, Do Your Homework
One does not simply buy Liverpool tickets. One must first do some groundwork in preparation for purchasing tickets before one can even decide how one wants to purchase tickets.
- Read Liverpool's much shorter Step by Step Guide to purchasing tickets.
There is some useful info in there.
- Decide which game(s) you want to attend.
If it's a Premier League game, determine if the game is Category A, B, or C. Category A games are against the top teams and/or rivals, and are thus the hardest tickets to get. Category C tickets are easiest and theoretically come with a greater likelihood of a win.
Note: the likelihood of purchasing away tickets through official means is approximately zero, so it is unlikely to be worth your time to even think about this.
- Check the ticket price for your game.
Ticket Prices vary depending on which part of the stadium you're in, as well as based on the match's category and/or competition. My recommendation is to always assume you'll end up with the most expensive ticket just in case that's the only price point available, but it's also not my money so think about what you're comfortable spending. Here's a currency converter.
- Consider buying a Light membership.
The Light version of the club's official club membership comes with ticketing privileges that allow you to buy tickets during the members only sale periods. It ends up being about half the price of a ticket, so you need to weigh the expense vs the increased likelihood of getting tickets you want. I've only ever purchased tickets this way because I am paranoid. If you do go this route, you'll also get a discount at the club shop when you eventually get to Liverpool.
- Find out when tickets go on sale.
Not all matches go on sale at the same time, and not all tickets for a match go on sale on the same day. Confused? Don't be! This staggered sale helps ease the strain on the club's website / phone lines. The club will usually update their website with onsale dates, although this information does not always make it to the main page of the website, so keep a sharp eye out for it in the News section. All updates will eventually be listed on the ticket availability page.
Tickets go on sale first for members who have purchased X number of games in the previous season (where X is dependent on the draw of the opponent), then all members, and then the general public. Each of these phases is usually 24-48hrs.
Tickets for the first half of the season usually go on sale in early July; tickets for the second half of the season usually go on sale in early November.
- Study the seating chart.
Unlike Ticketmaster or similar ticketing options, which let you choose a "best available" option when purchasing tickets, Liverpool make you choose a specific section in which to search for tickets. Make sure to study the seating chart (available in both 2D and 3D!) so you know which section is which; keep this chart open in another tab while you're purchasing tickets in case there aren't any in the section you want.
Once you've figured all this out, you are good to go! So how do you actually get tickets?
Official LFC Supporters Clubs
Liverpool has over 200 official supporters club branches across the globe, and each of those clubs has minimal ticketing privileges that you can get access to as a member. I can only speak for my own OSC, but last season the club was allowed to apply for tickets to three matches during each half of the season.
While you're beholden to the three most-requested matches by your fellow supporters, it's a solid way of circumventing the overall ticket purchasing process as tickets are organized through your club president rather than you having to log onto the LFC website with the rest of the fans also hoping to score tickets. Double check with someone on the club executive as to what the ticketing policies are for this season should they have changed, and whether or not priority access to those tickets is based on anything else like attendance at the club's official pub on match days, etc.
You can check out the list of official supporters clubs to see if there is one in your area, and it's usually possible to join a club from long distance if there isn't one where you live. Many have a nominal membership fee per season for joining.
Don't do it. I put the club's phone line on speed dial and consistently got dropped calls with both the international line and the local line. Your mileage may vary, but I don't feel confident relying on this as a path towards ticketing success.
I personally think this is the best option, but that's because a) the phone option sucks, b) I don't like talking to other people if I can avoid it, and c) as someone who lives in Canada I can't queue up in person to buy tickets.
- Don't wait until tickets go on sale to set up your account.
Create your online account now. Like right now. If you are planning on purchasing tickets for you and a friend, make sure that they have an account too. Make sure that you've linked those accounts in the "Friends and Family" section of your account so that you can quickly select their name when purchasing tickets. Yes, they need the name of every ticket holder. Yes, this is annoying.
- Tickets usually go on sale at 8:15am BST. Be ready.
If you need to stay up late, do it. If you need to get a couple hours of sleep and then set an alarm to wake up, do it. If you live somewhere where 8:15am BST is a perfectly reasonable time for you to be awake, I'm jealous.
Always double check the time tickets go on sale. I think there were a few sales during the year that went on sale in the afternoon BST.
- Sometimes it feels like there's a pre-queue before the actual ticketing queue that you get put in.
This is why I usually attempt to start logging in around 7:45am BST even though you technically can't, and then refresh continually until the real queue appears. This might be paranoia on my part and may have no affect whatsoever on my placement in the queue, but I do it anyway.
- If your search actually yields tickets, BUY THEM.
Do not send them back into the pool and try to get better seats. Even if you could, it's not worth the risk. Any seat at Anfield is better than no seat at Anfield and as international fans we'll never get there often enough to afford to be picky about where we sit.
- If your game sells out and you can't get tickets, consider a hospitality package.
Yes, they're expensive. No, the extras you get probably aren't worth the price you pay. But sometimes this can be the only way to get into a match with high demand for tickets, and sometimes it's the only option if you have a specific window of time in which you'll be in England and can only attend that particular match.
Hospitality packages are now on sale, FYI. The Chelsea match on November 8 is already sold out!
I've now done this a handful of times and know that this definitely works for me. Your mileage may vary, of course, and that's okay. Good luck!
Update: You've Got Your Tickets, Now Plan the Rest of Your Trip!