Cantwell’s TICKET Act to Stop Hidden Fees for Concerts, Sporting Events Heads to Full Senate

July 27, 2023

This is the first bill passed in a Senate Committee that answers the President’s call to stop junk fees

Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed the bipartisan TICKET Act, sending the legislation to the full Senate. Co-sponsored by Chair Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the bill requires event ticket sellers to display the total ticket price upfront—including all fees—in any advertisement or marketing that lists a ticket price.

“I am pleased to join Ranking Member Cruz in the TICKET Act, which will bring transparency and fairness to event ticketing by requiring ticket sellers to disclose total ticket prices upfront,” Sen. Cantwell said before the vote. “The price will say exactly what you will pay.”

“When families budget for a night at a ball game or to hear their favorite band, they shouldn’t have to worry about being surprised by hidden fees that suddenly raise the final cost of tickets well over the advertised price,” Sen. Cantwell said when the bill was introduced.

Recognizing the need for more action to protect consumers from speculative ticket pricing, Sen. Cantwell said today she planned to work with members “to ensure that in the future venues who have to fight against the scourge of people trying to pretend that they’re selling tickets to their venue that we actually stop that practice in the future.”

During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in June, Sen. Cantwell called for a crackdown on “junk fees” and demanded fee transparency and upfront pricing so consumers can have confidence in knowing the real price of goods and services and be able to accurately compare prices across the market.

“Junk fees” include fees that are added on to the price of a product or service after a price is advertised to a consumer or later in the transaction process. In the ticket industry, studies from the New York Attorney General’s office and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) show that fees can contribute anywhere from 21% to as much as 58% of the total cost of event tickets. A 2022 consumer survey by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office found that in the last four years, 61% of Washington state consumers were charged a fee they didn’t know about until the final stage of ordering a product or service and 39% were charged such a fee they didn’t know about until after a purchase. 

View Senator Cantwell’s full opening statement here.