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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Live Nation nickels and dimes fans

Jonathan Roisman (The Inquirer)

Most concerts and sporting events are expensive, but they’re even more costly when everyone associated with the event tries to gouge you.

Service charges. Processing charges. Building facility charges. Shipping charges. That’s how a $30 ticket becomes a $50 ticket.

Live Nation Entertainment has a stranglehold on most concerts and major sporting events in the United States. If you want to see your favorite band or basketball team, you usually have to go through them.

Live Nation is one of the country’s largest ticket wholesalers. They recently purchased Ticketmaster, another large ticket wholesaler, essentially creating a legal monopoly. Live Nation even owns or operates over 100 venues worldwide where the artists and athletes perform and play.

I expect to pay extra from third-party sellers looking to make an extra buck off good seats, but not from the direct seller.

First they tell you what the face value cost is for the ticket. Let’s say it’s $30. Not too bad, I suppose. But that won’t be the final cost when they charge your credit card.

Next comes the 30 percent service charge. Looks like Live Nation forgot to tell you the face-value price doesn’t go to them. Now it’s a $39 ticket. The next level of hell is the processing charge. You’re charged just for ordering the tickets. Tack on another $5, and we’re up to $44.

Oh, but the fun hasn’t stopped just yet. The venue needs some extra cash, so why not charge you for walking in the door? Say hello to the building facility charge – that’s another $5.

We can’t forget how they’re going to deliver the tickets to you. Why pay shipping when you can print them from home? You thought that was free? Sorry. Now they’re charging you $2.50 to use your paper and ink to print your own tickets.

That $30 ticket is now $51.50.

That’s an example of a recent hockey game I went to in Anaheim. Not all events charge building facility fees and you can usually get your tickets shipped for free through the post office. And to be fair, the service charges vary.

But because of Live Nation’s grasp on many entertainment-based events, you will very rarely pay the actual face value price from the direct seller. I expect to be gouged from third-party vendors like StubHub, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

Mr. Smithers from “The Simpsons” was right when he said service charges are “a policy that ensures a healthy mix of the rich and the ignorant.”


Contact Jonathan Roisman at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Jonathan Roisman
Jonathan Roisman, Editor-in-chief
Co-editor-in-chief, fall 2010.

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Live Nation nickels and dimes fans