Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fees pay 3rd party costs, raise prices

Students who have been to their fair share of concerts know the actual price of a cheap $20 ticket can rise quickly because of charges and fees.

Ticket companies and venues often add any number of fees to the ticket’s original price. While these fees may be annoying and often confusing to ticket buyers, each serves a purpose.

Wendy Riggs, the director of Arts and Entertainment for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, said the original price of a ticket depends on a variety of factors.

“[Price] depends on the artist guarantee, the number of tickets available and the agreement between the artist management and the promoter,” Riggs said. “It’s math – how much an artist contracts for divided by number of seats in a venue.”

After a ticket is bought either online or in person, companies add fees to cover its cost. Riggs said fee types differ between companies.

TicketMaster, an online and mobile ticket service, charges a convenience fee. Even though event-goers can now print tickets online or store them on smart phones, a company uses that fee to keep its website running.

“The infrastructure of a ticketing company and the convenience charge of this service is what they are paying for,” Riggs said of at-home printing.

Additionally, credit card companies receive a portion of ticket sales when a customer uses their credit card to purchase a ticket online. When ticket companies such as Ticketmaster or Stubhub charge high fees, they often include perks for the customer such as guaranteeing the ticket’s authenticity or fast shipment.

Charlotte Lawson, a senior majoring in political science and criminal justice, said she often goes to sporting events and concerts and has to pay a variety of fees.

“Ticketmaster usually charges their convenience fees for buying the tickets early, but those aren’t usually horrendously expensive,” Lawson said. “Stubhub, on the other hand, is pretty pricey when buying expensive tickets, but all of their guarantees make the cost worth it.”

Patricia Pratt, box office manager of the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, said despite the many fees associated with tickets, the venue rarely sees much profit.

“Most venues make their money on concessions,” Pratt said. “Venue fees are necessary for a company such as the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater to continue providing services.”

Similarly, Riggs said most of the money made from ticket sales and fees goes to the artist or the ticket company.

Lindsay Smith, a junior majoring in marketing, said she attends many concerts and admitted the fees associated with tickets can be frustrating.

“I attend some events here in Tuscaloosa, mostly at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater,” Smith said. “[I pay] anywhere from $10 to about $60. The Amphitheater often offers discounted ticket prices or student tickets through the Ferg for about $15, which is awesome.”

Smith said when she buys a ticket online she usually has to pay a convenience fee in addition to taxes.

“If I buy a ticket at an actual box office, there are typically less or no convenience fees, but it’s often difficult to get tickets from the venues, especially for me because I go to so many out-of-town shows,” Smith said. “Ultimately though, it’s all worth it because I love seeing my favorite artists perform – there’s nothing like it for me.”

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