Consumer Protection Fact Sheet - Ticket Refund Law

What happens when you purchase tickets to a theater performance, sporting event, or concert months in advance, only to later have the event canceled or rescheduled?

Under Wisconsin law, consumers are protected from losing most prepaid admissions fees.

Wis. Stat. s. 100.173 requires promoters to refund the admission price for many entertainment and sporting events that are canceled or rescheduled. However, this law DOES NOT cover competitive sports activities between school teams or within established sports leagues.

Always read the small print on any ticket you purchase for an entertainment or sporting event to know what part of the purchase price is refundable.

By law, promoters must:

  • Inform purchasers at the time of the ticket sale about any handling or service charges that may be deducted from the refund (the law allows 20 percent of the purchase price, up to a maximum of $5).

  • Inform purchasers in advance when charges for other services, such as parking, are non-refundable.

  • Include a disclosure on the ticket when a portion of the ticket price is considered a nonrefundable charitable donation.

How to obtain refunds

The steps for obtaining a refund depend upon whether the event was canceled or rescheduled.

Refunds for canceled events

In order to obtain refunds for canceled events, ticket purchasers must present their tickets to the promoter no later than 90 days after the event is canceled. The promoter may be different from the person or company from whom you purchased the ticket, or the owner of the premises where the event was scheduled to be held.

Under current law, a promoter must make a refund no later than 60 days after you present your ticket.

Refunds for rescheduled events

Events that are rescheduled due to inclement weather are not covered by the law.

When events are rescheduled for other reasons, ticket holders must present tickets to the promoter no later than 30 days after the date on which the event was originally scheduled to be held.

Under the law, a promoter must provide a refund no later than 60 days after you present your ticket.