On every ticket sold by Live Nation for events at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center there is a $6 “parking fee,” regardless of whether a fan drove to the venue, walked or was dropped off. Needless to say, this fee has rubbed some fans the wrong way, but the live entertainment and ticketing giant believes the measure is a fair charge that helps ensure an orderly experience for fans.
The charge, which Live Nation said used to be called the “facility fee,” has always been in place and was lowered two years ago by about 8 percent to its current price.
“We have always operated under a system at PNC Bank Arts Center where parking is charged as a per ticket fee,” Live Nation spokesperson John Vlautin told TicketNews in a prepared statement. “This policy is in place to alleviate traffic issues that would be caused by customers stopping to pay a parking fee at the lot entrance.”
The issue came to light in recent articles in the New York Daily News, where some fans cried foul over the practice, just as the company battles to gain federal regulatory approval for its proposed merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment.
A concern of some members of Congress, artists Bruce Springsteen and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and others who oppose the merger is how ticket prices, and fees, would be handled by the two companies if they were allowed to virtually control many aspects of the concert industry.
“The charge is calculated based on our research that the average music fan comes to PNC with two people in their car,” Vlautin said. “The per ticket charge helps to ensure that all fans can enter the venue in a timely and safe manner.”
In addition to the parking fee, tickets for events at PNC Bank Arts Center also carry a $.25 cent “charity” fee, but Live Nation did not answer an inquiry as to what charity is the beneficiary of the charge.
Live Nation is reportedly considering folding the fee into the overall price of the ticket, instead of separating it out, but the amount will remain the same. Both Ticketmaster and Live Nation have long levied additional surcharges on tickets, as do many other box offices and ticket companies, and Ticketmaster has also experimented with “all-in” pricing for some of its tickets.
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Last Updated on March 19, 2009 by By Alfred Branch Jr.