Consumers have long complained about ticket fees that are seemingly out-of-proportion to the cost of the seat itself. In February, Ticketmaster settled a long-standing class-action lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court, alleging that the company’s fees were deceptive, misleading, and a profit center. As part of the settlement, the company announced in May that it would provide discount codes and free tickets to customers who made an online purchase between Oct. 21, 1999, and Feb. 27, 2013. Though Ticketmaster did not admit wrongdoing, the company agreed to be more transparent on its website about various fees and its cut. Ticketmaster, which sells the vast majority of tickets in America, claims on its website that most of the fees are decided by the artists and venues. The “service” charge on tickets, however, is set by Ticketmaster and its clients, and they share the fee.

Below is a rundown of common Ticketmaster fees, which can vary widely depending on the event and location of your seat.

Read our special report to learn why ticket prices are going through the roof.

How Ticket Fees Add Up

We priced the cost of a floor-level seat at a Guns N’ Roses concert this summer at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Face Price

Also known as the base price, it is set by the team, act, and/or venue. In general, Ticketmaster remits the face value to the client, minus expenses.

Service Fee

Service fees help Ticketmaster turn a profit. Even if you buy a fan-to-fan resale ticket from Ticketmaster Verified Tickets, it is also subject to a fee (shared by Ticketmaster and the client) based on the sale price of the ticket. For a Selena Gomez concert at the United Center in Chicago, the fee was 17 percent, or $84.66 for a $498 seat.


Order Processing Fee

The fee varies and is shared by Ticketmaster and its client. You can avoid it by buying tickets at a retail outlet or box office$4.25
Facility ChargeThis fee is set by the venue, which receives 100 percent of it.$4.00

Electronic ticket delivery is usually free. Standard delivery for paper tickets typically ranges from no charge to around $4.50 and can take up to 14 days. Next-day delivery can cost $25. The $19.50 fee at left is for second-day delivery. You can pick up your tickets at the box office or will-call free of charge.

Total20 percent of the face value of the ticket$300.75

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the August 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.