State Sales Tax Changes Brings Pricier Tickets To Sporting Events

06/29/2018 05:30 PM

Friday both the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky Athletic Departments confirmed that effective on July 1, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Revenue will levy a 6-percent sales tax on ticket sales to events hosted by most non-profit organizations, which would include university sporting events, but not teams like the Louisville Bats, Lexington Legends of Minor League Baseball or USL soccer events like Louisville City F.C. games.

The the release, UK said, “In This legislation will affect the sale of tickets to UK Athletics events, a fact confirmed by extensive review with internal University of Kentucky legal counsel.”

Kentucky says that they are in the process of adjusting all of their ticket prices to reflect the 6-percent increase. They added that, “The 6-percent increase in ticket prices will be directly remitted to the state.”

UK warned fans, the increase will include single-game football tickets, which are set to go on sale July 3 at Those prices were being immediately updated on UK’s website. This will not affect prior purchases.

UofL confirmed that they too, will be making adjustments to invoices and printed tickets. Like Kentucky, they each plan to add the sales tax to the value of the ticket to reflect just one price that is inclusive of the cost of admission and the tax on the printed stub.

In Louisville’s release, they said, “With this new legislation, the University of Louisville will be required to add an additional six percent to the price of tickets to its athletic events. This change will affect both season and single games tickets,” but added that it would not affect parking prices or donation requirements for season ticket-holders.

Kentucky also added, “UK Athletics remains committed to its mission to positively represent the University of Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Kentucky on a national stage. UK Athletics events generate millions of dollars in economic impact for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and City of Lexington, with combined home attendance for all sports approaching one million each season.

UK Athletics also operates self-sufficiently, receiving no state or university funds and contributing millions toward the academic mission of the Commonwealth’s flagship university on an annual basis.

In 2018-19 alone, UK Athletics will contribute $1.7 million for academic scholarships; pay the full rate for 330 athletic scholarships ($17.9 million); and pay a university assessment fee of $2.3 million, all while continuing to fund $65 million – about two-thirds of the cost – of the Jacobs Science Building, which opened in 2016. Moreover, starting this academic year, no student fees will go toward UK Athletics, making the university one of the small number of institutions in the country not to have such a fee.”

UofL added that Kentucky is not alone in this requirement, saying: “Currently, there are 18 other states that require a charge for sales tax on athletic tickets, including several ACC schools.”


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