Unfortunately, there is often no alternative to paying TM's absurdly inflated 'convenience fees' when buying tickets for many types of events -- if you want to buy a ticket to see 'Wicked' here in Chicago this week, a $92.50 ticket will cost you $106.71, an upcharge of more than 15%.
They are an unregulated monopoly, but it looks like perhaps they are about to get some competition.
ScoreBig Inc., which has raised $8.5 million from investors including private-equity firm Bain Capital and media executive Shari Redstone, has been quietly testing a system that aspires to do for concert and sports tickets what Priceline.com does for airline seats and hotel rooms: Allow customers to buy them at cut-rate prices, while avoiding the whiff of desperation that typically accompanies discounts.Granted, it's only the left-over seats, but it's a step in the right direction. Anything that puts pressure on pricing, even in one area, should (I hope) have the effect of bringing down prices overall.
Unsold seats are a major problem for the music and sports industries alike. "We have 35% to 50% of total industry capacity that goes unsold each year," said ScoreBig Chief Executive Adam Kanner, "and fans that can't afford" the events.