Admission to the Pan-American Exposition was necessary because the organizers intended to profit by gate receipts from the projected 23 million visitors. This necessity created jobs for ticket engravers/manufacturers, an army of ticket sellers under Superintendent of Admission Cash's department (which also employed bookkeepers to handle the revenue), and it also created opportunities to smooth relations between Buffalonians with the proliferation of free passes. Not only did the directors and commissioners distribute free tickets to family, friends, businessmen, and supporters, but free tickets were given to family members of workmen for their special celebration day and as premiums by local businesses to customers whose purchases exceeded a specific dollar amount during promotional events.
To regulate visitor traffic, a wooden fence a mile long and a half-mile wide was erected around the entire Exposition grounds and acreage in the Park (today known as Delaware Park) used an extension of the Exposition. Entrance gates were constructed at 7 locations around the grounds (Railroad Station, West Amherst street, East Amherst street, Elmwood Avenue, Lincoln Parkway, Meadow, Water) with a total of 50 ticket booths.
Beginning February 1, 1901, 4 months prior to the opening, the Exposition authorities began charging admission to the grounds, 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. The Exposition opened May 1 and began charging its regular rate of 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. Over the course of the Exposition, there were modifications to ticket prices depending on the time of day or day of week. First to be reduced were Sunday rates (25 cents adults, 15 cents children) because the Midway exhibits were officially closed as was the U.S. Government Exhibit; it was also an affordable way for working people to attend on their one day off. Soon, reductions for evening admission followed with the same half-price admission after 7 p.m. This was not only sensible since some exhibits were closed (U.S. Government Exhibit closed at 6 p.m.) but also helped entice people off the streetcars where, for their 5-cent fare, it had become common to ride up and down the Elmwood route catching cheap glimpses of the evening illumination and fireworks.