If splashing out on that No Doubt show or Sharks game seems like too much of a commitment in these tough times, you may be less likely to pull the trigger on buying a ticket. Or four. Now, you have an option.
OptionIt is a new website that treats those tickets a bit like stock-market options. For a small down payment, you can secure the tickets to the show or game, without fully committing to them -- or to their full price.
Originally the idea of an option trader, OptionIt is not really reinventing the ticket-buying wheel, just refining it a bit. There are other sites out there that let you treat tickets like future contracts, but OptionIt is focusing on specific individual events (hockey games, football games, concerts), so your experience will be specific - not, like some other sites, a "chance" to get a Super Bowl ticket.
OptionIt works with Ticketmaster, so no conflict there. If you decide to actually attend the event, you pay the full price for the ticket to Ticketmaster. If not, you have the option to sell the ticket off to other fans or ticket brokers. You are never under any obligation to buy (though you're out the cost of the option if you don't).
Sensing an opportunity to bring previously buy-shy fans into the games, OptionIt has already brought teams like the San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens on board. Those teams know that when the economy is slow, entertainment often gets cut out of the budget.
It may take a little getting used to, but OptionIt could end up letting you keep your social life while spending your entertainment dollar more efficiently.