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How To Avoid Online Ticket Sale Fees

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- There are all sorts of sporting events, plays and concerts to go to in the Twin Cities.

But when you pay online, extra fees on top of the ticket price can make your jaw drop.

Convenience fees, service fees, facility charges: all words you may see when you check out -- and they all add up.

Whether you're taking in a Twins game or heading to see your favorite band, the total ticket purchase will be more than the face price.

Tickets typically have a set price. On top of that can be a convenience fee, order fee, service fee or facility charge. How much more you pay depends on who's selling the ticket.

All of the professional sports have fees tacked on to the price. Minnesota United shows you the fee as you select your seat. It's between $2.99 and $5.99 per ticket. At the box office there's only a $2 facility fee charged.

Buy ahead for the Twins online or by phone and pay between $3.75 to $4.50 per ticket. There's also a $4 fee for each seat. Avoid the fees by buying at the box office. You pay for convenience.

The Timberwolves, Lynx, Wild and Vikings all use Ticketmaster, so there's a ticket price, service fee, additional taxes and sometimes a facility fee on each ticket.

The same goes for the big concerts and events at Target Field, Xcel Energy Center and U.S. Bank Stadium.

A $27 ticket to J. Cole at the X quickly becomes $42.47. And the total on a Florida Georgia Line $74.75 ticket at Target Field jumps by $24.57 upon checkout for a total of $99.32. The higher the ticket price, the higher the fee.

Ticketmaster details the charges on their website. The face price is set by the venue or artist, while the service or processing fee varies by event and is split between the client and Ticketmaster. It goes to keep Ticketmaster running. The facility charge is collected for the venue and taxes may apply.

The only way to avoid the high service fee is to buy at the box office. You lose the convenience but may keep $15 to $20 per ticket.

Target Center adds a $2 to $3 facility fee to every ticket no matter how it's bought. It helps cover the cost of running the event. AXS service fees only apply if you buy through the website, and covers costs ranging from printing tickets, merchant fees and the guest services team.

If you buy at the box office for a show at Hennepin Theatre Trust's historic State, Orpheum or Pantages theaters, the price you see online is the price you pay. The theater builds taxes and a building/restoration fee into their price. Buy through Ticketmaster and you're subject to their fees.

The Ordway Center of Performing Arts has an online or phone service fee. The $2 to $6 helps fund the ticket office. You can avoid this by going to the box office. Every ticket has a facility fee range of $2 to $5. That helps fund upkeep and maintenance of the Ordway.

Bottom line: The only way to avoid higher fees is by going to the box office. If you live near the venue it may make sense, but many we spoke with say the hassle just isn't worth it.

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