Are you ready for some football...fees?
That's right, football is back! But the preseason isn't all tailgating and touchdowns, it also includes outrageously high football ticket fees. We run through the red zone of the worst ones. Also this week, a $97.20 ticket fee is described as “other expenses”, a family pays a $82.00 "service fee" and all new entries on the "Weekly Wall of Woe".
Why did USA Today call football tickets "The worst value in sports"? Read on!
Are you ready for some football...fees?
Several harsh criticisms have been made this week on the value of pre-season NFL tickets, and per-ticket fees seem to be exacerbating the situation. Professional football tickets already have a reputation for being too expensive for the average fan to afford, but the pre-season is supposed to be a "value".
USA Today's Jarrett Bell kicked off the 2012 NFL season with an acrimonious article titled 'Fans still get ripped off by preseason'. Bell chastises the poor value of attending any pre-season game in person:
If there's a worse value in sports for the paying customer than NFL preseason games, maybe it can be found on the sales rack at an apparel shop at the mall or in the back corner of a makeshift memorabilia store.
The sports editors of The Daily news is more specific about the costs, in a detailed breakdown published earlier this week. The focus is Jets vs. Giants preseason tickets with exact pricing for tickets by location in the stadium:
The average ticket price for this year’s game is $74, individual purchases have been all over the map. Several fans purchased tickets in upper sections for $10 apiece, the cheapest ticket thus far. At the other end of the spectrum, one person bought four tickets priced at $600 each to sit in the Coaches Club Section 113...and $24 for a seat in Section 305, Row 20 and range up to $1106 for a seat in Section 149, Row 12.
New York fans pay some of the highest face value marked-ups in the country for preseason games. The mark-ups assigned by so-called "value add resellers" ( *ahem* ) are under fire from multiple state legislative initiatives, most notably in the state of New Jersey, home of Giants Stadium.
Just how bad are pro sport ticket fees? One need only to read the comments in a recent post on Yahoo! Sports. There, two dozen fans discuss the outrage they feel about ticket costs, and one need only to read the first few to know how bad it is:
“Ticket Brokers are the worst. You can go online and there are hundreds of tickets. They manage to take a $65 ticket and ask for upwards of $1,000 for them, especially if it is a hyped up game.”
“Brokers buy up a lot of the tickets and then increase the face value prices with fees and their profit money! With the economy the way it is, it can be difficult even to purchase the tickets at face value, never mind the add cost these brokers add to them."
We have no official comment from the NFL if they intend to wrangle in the skyrocketing costs of preseason tickets being sold on the secondary market, but wonder if making the effort would be in their own best interest - especially If the cost of preseason tickets are upwards of $1,000.00
Jacquie Miller of the Ottawa Citizen has written some helpful tips to get tickets for the upcoming Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert. The column starts off with a heartwarming example of a father and son who have been camped out in front of the venue box office for days hoping to get Boss tickets the old fashion way.
Miller casts gloom on the cheerful folks in line by recounting the disappointments of those who camped out in the past, saying that the specter of automated "scalper bots" may dash all hope.
For those camped out at Scotiabank Place Thursday, it’s worth a shot. [ They tried to ] buy tickets online for Springsteen’s 2003 concert here, but had no luck. Sometimes when something big like this comes, you have to get off your butt and get in line.
Of note is the promising new "Ticket drone" service that Miller mentions. It supposedly alerts fans willing to wait in line for tickets via an automated phone call. Ticket drone robocalls fans alerting them if tickets are on sale, then they can go online and try to buy them.
Less than encouraging is the $11 and $18 per ticket fee that Ticket Drone applies on top of the Springsteen face value price of $67.50 to $115.
Weekly Wall of Woe
A report on the war against unreasonable ticket fees would be incomplete without the weekly “Wall of Woe”, our bulleted line-item list of what people are saying across the web. Sadly this week is just as awful as ever.
“Over seven tickets bought in three transactions that's $82.00 in service and administration costs, when we [already] paid $87.00 per ticket in the first place."
“[ I ] was charged $432 for the 3 tickets, $15.00 for shipping and $97.20 for ‘other expenses’.
“This makes me so raging [mad]”
"$16.75 in fees for a $99 ticket. ruining rock the bells before it even starts."
"@amandapalmer Yikes, $8 fee on a $25 ticket :( "
"Charging 24% "handling fee" to buy mcfc tickets. Don't buy from them!!"
Of course, there is a better way. You need not be included in the misery expressed by individuals and the widely national headlines above. We know you must run a profitable business, and yes, reasonable ticket fees are part of that. We have an all new guide on ticket fees called ‘To Fee or not to Fee.” in which we talk frankly about when, where and why you should or shouldn’t charge per ticket fees.
A ThunderTix account includes extensive tools to manage the application of ticket fees to for your event. Better still, our software uses an annual subscription - we do not charge you per-ticket fees!
Fee Free Friday will be back next week with more from the front lines of high fees, “service charges” and outrageous face value markups. Until then, be sure to take a look at our other features and sign up for a free trial today!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons