Have tickets to March Madness games, shows or concerts? Here’s how to get a refund

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Wednesday that the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments will go on as scheduled despite concerns over the coronavirus, but that the games will be played in empty arenas.

Emmert, out of what the NCAA is calling an abundance of caution, announced that the March Madness tournament to crown the college basketball champions will be played before an audience made up of only a handful of each player’s family members instead of the thousands of fans who usually pack the arenas.

The announcement leaves fans who purchased tickets for the games wondering how they can get a refund.

"The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel," Emmert said in a statement. "While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States."

Fans who ordered tickets from an official NCAA vendor will be contacted via email about refunds, according to the NCAA website. Refunds will be delivered — except applicable fees — to the same credit card used for purchase. The refund process should take 30 days, the site says. You can email questions about ticket refunds to

Just before the NCAA announcement, the NBA announced Wednesday that it is suspending the remainder of its season due to COVID-19. There is no blanket policy on refunds for NBA games, and policies vary.

For instance, the Orlando Magic has announced that tickets to postponed games can be used when that game is eventually rescheduled. The Magic also said that if the game is never played, ticket holders can get a refund for their ticket or a credit to a future game.

What about refunds for other events?

If a concert or some other event you purchased tickets for is canceled, it is likely the online ticket seller you purchased it from will offer a refund. If the event is postponed, the ticket will still be good for the event on the new date.

Here is Ticketmaster’s policy:

Canceled events

  • If you ordered your tickets online or over the phone. No additional action is needed and you won’t need to reach out.
  • You will be notified that the event has been canceled.
  • Your refund will be automatically delivered (except UPS fees) to the method of payment used to complete your purchase.
  • Refunds should be received within 7-10 business days after we learn the event is canceled.

Postponed or rescheduled events

  • You will be contacted via phone or email with the new event information as soon as we are updated.
  • Unless notified otherwise, your tickets will be valid for the new event date.
  • If you are unable to make the new event date and refunds have been approved by the artist, team, venue or promoter, you will see a “Refund” button within your order in your My Account.

How to request a refund in My Account

  • Sign in to My Account and select your order to view your tickets.
  • Click the “Refund” button.
  • Select the tickets you’d like to submit a refund for.
  • Review the details and submit.
  • Refunds should be received within 7-10 business days.

Here is StubHub’s policy


  • “If an event is canceled and not rescheduled, we will remove the event and any listings related to the event from our Site and inform both Buyer and Seller about the cancellation with further instructions. If the Seller requires his Ticket(s) back to obtain a refund of the original purchase price from the promoter or organizer, he must contact Customer Service immediately after the cancellation.
  • The Buyer is required to retain the Ticket(s) and upon request from StubHub to send them back to either the Seller or to StubHub (as instructed by StubHub). The Buyer will receive a full refund once he has sent back the Ticket(s) (if applicable) and the Seller will not be paid.
  • If the Seller has already been paid, the payment for the sale may be recovered by charging the Seller’s Payment Method or by setting off this amount against pending payments for other Tickets the Seller has sold or will sell in the future.”

SeatGeek has this policy:


  • “If an event is canceled, you will be protected by SeatGeek’s Buyer Guarantee, and your order will be refunded in full. Your order cost will be refunded to your original payment source within three weeks. There is no need to reach out to our customer experience team in this case, we will send you an email when your event refund is being processed.”


  • “If an event is postponed, your tickets will most likely be valid for the new date, although this will depend on the venue’s policy. Similar to a cancelation, there is no need to take any action on your end, once we have confirmed the changes with the event organizer we will contact you over email with an update.
  • If for any reason you are no longer able to attend the event, you always have the option to re-list them on SeatGeek Marketplace so that another fan can attend. Click here for more information on how.”
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