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City Ponders Ticket Surcharge On LN Shows At SPAC

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Saratoga Spring's City Council is mulling a plan to impose a surcharge on event tickets at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) that would raise ticket prices at the venue by as much as two dollars.

According to the Saratoga Times-Union, the city is considering the surcharges as a way out of the red ink currently splashed across their budget and think that the proposed plan would bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in additional revenue for the city.

"The city incurs a lot of expenses whenever concerts come to town, with traffic, police and more. It's a way to recoup some of those costs," City Finance Commissioner Kenneth Ivins told the Times-Union.

The plan would exempt some types of performances at the venue, including orchestral and ballet, leaving just concerts staged by the venue's exclusive promoter, Live Nation to contend with the additional surcharge. Live Nation already tacks on a substantial fee to the price of tickets at the event and a $35 pass will cost $47.35.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone is thrilled about the plan. SPAC President Marcia White told WNTY that the plan would hurt their business "Less than 40 percent of our cost is covered by ticket sales. So if we don't get bodies in seats, we really create a problem here."

John Huff, general manager of Live Nation, also took exception with Ivin's views on the cost of the venue to the city, telling the Times-Union that "I don't know of any significant services the city is providing to support the concert."

SPAC has already been struggling to remain profitable and this year cut its well-regarded summer ballet program from from three weeks to two.

At present, the proposal has been tabled until August 4th and faces the additional hurdle of requiring approval from both the state's legislature and government, because the venue is located in a state park. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers