| Main |

Doubling your Ticketmaster pleasure

I've never seen a surcharge of this magnitude before, but maybe some of you folks have. LA Times reader Tom Ogden sent in a copy of a Ticketmaster receipt showing that one $32 seat for a play at UCLA (The Fortune Teller) actually cost $67.40. That's a markup of more than 110%. Here's the breakdown: $12 for a "Facility Fee," $19 for a "Handling Fee," and $4.40 for an "Order Processing fee." The first two fees are clearly more important, because they were capitalized. Anyway, when he saw the total, Ogden said, he decided not to buy.

As Ticketmaster's take-no-prisoners publicist, Larry Solters, has explained to me repeatedly, much of what the company tacks on top of the ticket price goes to entities other than Ticketmaster. Still, the explanation that Solters gives for concert fees -- that the band takes all the gate, so promoters and venues insist on extra charges to make a profit -- wouldn't seem to apply here. Do marionette plays have promoters? Did Erik Sanko demand 100% of the gate? And why would UCLA pile on a $12 facility fee for the Freud Playhouse instead of including that compensation in the ticket price?

One consolation for Ogden is that the ticket could have been more expensive. Had he wanted to print his own ducat, Ticketmaster would have charged an additional $2.50 for that privilege.


The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Blogger
Times editorial writer Jon Healey pens opinion pieces about a variety of business issues, and blogs about technologies that are changing the entertainment industry's business model.

Search this blog

Subscribe to this Blog - What is RSS?

Now Playing

Where I've Been Lately