2010-07-02 / Top Stories

Weiner: Fans Get Slammed With Ticket Fees

Outside of a Yankees Clubhouse Shop last Saturday, Rep. Anthony Weiner highlighted the excessive fees being charged to baseball fans who purchase their tickets online. Weiner’s report found that New Yorkers like Martin Untrojb, a Forest Hills Mets fan and father in a family of four, can pay more than $30 in fees when purchasing tickets for a day at the ballpark. Outside of a Yankees Clubhouse Shop last Saturday, Rep. Anthony Weiner highlighted the excessive fees being charged to baseball fans who purchase their tickets online. Weiner’s report found that New Yorkers like Martin Untrojb, a Forest Hills Mets fan and father in a family of four, can pay more than $30 in fees when purchasing tickets for a day at the ballpark. Congressman Anthony Weiner released a study showing that Mets and Yankee fans who buy tickets online incur some of the highest ticket fees in Major League Baseball. A Yankee fan buying a $5 ticket online will pay $9.40 in fees, or 188 percent above the listed price. A Mets fan buying an $11 ticket online will pay $11.50 in fees, or 105 percent above the listed price. A family of four buying $21 tickets at a Mets game can end up paying an additional $31.50 in fees, which is on top of the $84 they have to spend for four tickets. That same family at a Yankee game in $22 seats will pay $28.60 in fees.

Baseball Fans Pay Many Different Fees for Buying Tickets Online

Fans buying tickets online or over the phone pay a series of fees in addition to the price of a ticket. These fees include “convenience fees,” “order processing fees” and “printing fees.” The only way to avoid all of these fees is to purchase your tickets at the stadium.

“Convenience fees” – This is a per ticket charge billed to the customer for the convenience of having multiple options and venues to buy tickets. Every team in MLB charges a per ticket convenience fee ranging from $1(Detroit - Tigers) to $26.25 (San Francisco - Giants). The average convenience fee for a Yankee ticket online is $7.40 and $8.33 for a Mets ticket online.

“Order processing fees” – This a flat per order fee that does not vary with ticket price or number of tickets purchased in a single order. All but two teams charge an order fee, which range from $1.75 to $7.00.

“Printing fees” – This is a fixed per order fee for customers to print tickets from their home computers. These fees can vary from as low as $1.75 to as high as $2.50.

Online Fees for Tickets Are High and Arbitrary

Ticket fees are largely inconsistent among teams, ticket prices and ticket vendors. A fan sitting in a seat at one game may pay different fees for the same seat at a different game. For example a Mets fan who buys a seat online in the Field Box for a Saturday game can pay $120 for a seat and $10 in convenience fees, but the online fees for buying that same seat for a Friday game three weeks later will drop to $8.00.

Similarly, convenience fees for tickets vary from team to team and by ticket price among most teams. A fan buying a $100 ticket in Milwaukee for a Brewers game will pay a $5 convenience fee, while a fan buying a ticket at the same price in New York for a Mets game will pay a $10 convenience fee.

“It is reasonable to pay some convenience fees when buying tickets online, but a $9.50 fee on a $5 ticket is ridiculous,” said Weiner. “Why should New York fans pay more in fees than their ticket is worth?”

Fans in the Cheapest Seats Are Hit the Hardest by Online Fees

It doesn’t seem fair or logical, but the fans who buy the cheapest tickets pay the highest fees as a percentage of the ticket price. A Yankee fan buying a $5 ticket will pay $9.40 in ticket fees if he or she orders online and prints it at home, which is a 188 percent markup in the ticket price. A Yankee fan in $300 seats will pay $16.75 in fees, which is only a 5.5 percent markup in the ticket price. Mets fans in $11 seats fare a little better with only $11.50 in fees, which is a 105 percent markup.

Mets and Yankees Are Among the Worst in the League for Online Fees New York teams have some of the highest fees in the league. The Mets lead the league in average convenience fees and have the second highest order processing fee in the league. Both the Yankees and the Mets lead the league in printing fees. Order Processing Fee: Yankees - $3.30; Mets - $5.00 Printing Fee: Yankees and Mets - $2.50 Convenience Fees: Yankees range from $3.60 to $10.95; Mets range from $4.00 to $15.00.

Buy Tickets for Your Family Online and It Adds Up

A family of four buying $21 tickets at a Mets game can end up paying an additional $31.50 in fees, which is on top of the $84 they have to spend for four tickets. That same family at a Yankee game in $22 seats will pay $28.60 in fees.

Currently online vendors list their ticket prices without fees on the initial ticket selection screen. To add greater transparency to baseball ticket fees, Weiner, who sits on the Subcommittee on Commerce Trade and Consumer Protection, intends to propose legislation requiring all websites selling baseball tickets to display the total amount of fees as a percent of the ticket price.

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