Friday, March 25, 2011

Can't Escape Ticket Fees at Grand Prix of St. Pete

I think most fans of sporting events (or even cultural events) are used to paying ticket fees and convenience charges when buying tickets for an event online.

Usually, we pay because the convenience is worth the fee. But when the fees on the inconvenient option costs just as much as the convenient option, the point of the fee becomes unclear.

At the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, tickets were as low as $10 for juniors on Fri/Sat. But whether you ordered tickets online or bought them at the gate, you still had to pay a service fee. The costs range between $5.00 and $6.50 per ticket.

So really, there were no $10 tickets - just $16 tickets. And the adult tickets really weren't $25 and $40, as advetised - they were $31 and $46.

Event organizers said it was simply the "industry standard" and the cost of doing business with an online vendor. But what about the service fee for tickets purchased at the gate? It was explained as the cost to pay for a ticket booth and people to staff it. That's silly.

And what industry is it standard? Not the sports entertainment industry, where the Bucs, Lightning, and Rays all sell tickets at face value at the gate.

Maybe the racing industry? I haven't done my research on it yet, but I'm not holding my breath on it.

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