Ticket Fees Demystified
The subject of box-office transaction fees can be a thorny one for patrons, and deserves explanation. In the “good old days” buying a ticket for any kind of show meant walking up to the theater and purchasing your ticket with cash, and very likely standing in a long line to do so, no matter what the weather.
Nowadays we make it possible to purchase tickets anytime – 24/7- from the comfort of your home, over the telephone or online using your credit card via computer or handheld device. This convenience saves you both time and hassle, but there is a cost involved. The systems, and personnel required to provide this convenience are costly to establish and maintain, and we must pass these costs on to you, our patrons, or we will lose money on every transaction, and be out of business pretty quickly.
Further, in live entertainment artist contracts are typically based on volume of sales at the base ticket price, separate from the cost of selling the ticket. For clarity in accounting, the industry norm is to present transaction fees as separate costs. All professional venues incur these fees, though some choose to hide them in the ticket price, in order to avoid explaining them over and over… Preferring transparency, we at Paramount Bristol, have chosen to thoroughly itemize our transaction fees.
The Service Fee covers the entire cost of the transaction, including ticket agency fees, and the percentage and volume charges which your credit card provider adds to the transaction in order to ensure your credit. Unlike some of the larger ticketing agencies which aim to profit mightily from each transaction, our Service Fees are set just high enough for us to recover our transaction costs.
Facility Preservation Fees
The Facility Preservation Fee is a standard charge per admission which goes directly to support maintenance of and improvements to the venue itself. The Paramount Center for the Arts is owned by The Paramount Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
State of Tennessee adds 7%; City of Bristol adds 2.25%. When the presenter is an educational or charitable organization and there is no paid staff or professional guest artist involved, we may waive the collection of sales taxes. No other exceptions are allowed by law.
Walk Up Sales
To reduce lines and staffing requirements, our policy is to encourage advance ticket buying online and by telephone. Therefore, we do not waive transaction fees for walk-up sales. In addition, day-of-show transactions may incur an increase in the base ticket price.
Returns and Exchange
ALL SALES ARE FINAL, NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES ALLOWED. Exceptions to this rule are rare, and considered on a case by case basis. In an emergency, please call our box-office line and leave word that your tickets will not be used. If we are able to resell your seats, you may be considered for a credit.
Summing It All Up
We hope this brings some clarity to what can be a confusing topic. If you enjoy the steady stream of live entertainment, and cultural opportunities Paramount Bristol provides in our community, then please consider the entire cost of delivery. The next time you come for a show, look around and take into account how much goes into making the evening what it is. Then sit back and enjoy the fact that a whole bunch of people are working very hard so you can have a great experience.
With thanks for your patronage… Enjoy the show!