Houston’s Toyota Center will take you for everything you’ve got before you even get your tickets.

I love music, and I love concerts. I understand some artists and bands command a higher price ticket than others – and I’m usually OK with that. I mean, I paid $94 in 2001 for a decent 100 level seat towards the back of the Carrier Dome to see Billy Joel & Elton John blow my mind. Worth every penny. I’ve paid roughly $40-60 to see Dave Matthews Band roughly 23 times since the late 90’s. Hell, I saw Peter Frampton in an incredibly small venue for almost $90 a ticket. Again, worth it.

What I’m sick of is the extra fees and bullshit that brokers like Ticketmaster tacks on to the cost of a ticket. “Convenience fees” can nail you anywhere from $5-25 per ticket. I still don’t know what that even means. I’d think it’s actually easier, and most cost effective to have the tickets ordered through the self-sustaining online system – this way there are no phone operators to hold things up (or pay), or people in box offices doing much the same. Oh, and don’t forget another $5 for “order processing.” Again, bullshit because a computer did it. Whatever. Just suck the money out of me.

We all hate it. But we’ve paid it, bitching about it all the way.

BUT WAIT. IT GOT WORSE.

So I wanted to go see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – because they rock your face off – here at the Toyota Center in Houston. We’ve seen them twice before and damn it’s always a kick ass show. So I went through the motions online to buy tickets and the below picture is what I was faced with:

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 6.15.40 PM

So let me get this straight…
If I want to have my tickets mailed to me – you know, like normal – I have to pay an additional $25? WTF. Same goes for picking them up at the venue at the Will Call window. $25? Seriously? The only free option is this Flash Seats nonsense – which is apparently an app they are forcing you to download to your smartphone and use to display your tickets to the ushers at the venue. What if you don’t have a smartphone? I didn’t until last month. And even so, what if I don’t want to put some random garbage application on it? I want my tickets mailed to me. For free – or a small nominal fee it sometimes was.

So now, for me and the wife to see Tom Petty, it’s cost $160 for mediocre seats? Seriously – look – section 423? C’mon. Here’s the seating chart:
Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 10.28.17 PMWhat’s even more annoying, is this is specific to the Toyota Center. I went onto Live Nation to check out a different stop on the tour: Darien Lake PAC in New York State. I went through the motions of buying tickets, and here’s what I found:
Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 10.31.21 PMAside from them also trying to get you to download a completely different app on your smartphone for free access to your tickets, if you just want them mailed to you it’s only $3.50. That’s at least reasonable. Though, if you think about it, this whole situation is basically just the ticket brokers holding onto your tickets until you pay a ransom to have them released to you.

You’re probably sitting there, reading this, ready to say “Dan. Just download the app. So what?” And to that I say: I shouldn’t have to. Nor do I want to put some random app I’ve never heard of on my phone just because some crappy system a stadium uses is forcing me to.

Anyway, needless to say we haven’t yet purchased tickets to go see Tom Petty.

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6 thoughts on “Houston’s Toyota Center will take you for everything you’ve got before you even get your tickets.

  1. This is crazy. What about the people who like to keep their tickets as keepsakes? I have my tickets from just about every concert I have ever been to, some are so old the ink has disappeared but I don’t care they still mean something to me. You can’t do that with an e – ticket.

  2. I think it’s supposed to show the “transparency” of the costs – which implies that I could go somewhere and just buy the tickets at face value. But what really irks me is when I have to pay to print the tickets out at home myself (and yes, that has happened).

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