Proposed bill would protect secondary-ticket market sales
PHOENIX (AP) — A bill proposed in the Arizona House attempts to protect the rights of the secondary-ticket market by restricting what limitations teams, bands and venues can place on a ticket and the purchaser’s right to transfer or sell it.
Sponsored by state Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, the bill would only allow ticket sellers to issue non-transferable tickets if they also offer tickets that can be gifted or sold after the initial purchase.
It also would bar ticket sellers from denying access to anyone who purchased a ticket on the secondary market, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.
Officials with Stubhub, an online ticket resale marketplace, said people expect that when they purchase a ticket, it’s now their personal property.
“When people buy tickets, they should be able to do whatever they want with those tickets,” Stubhub spokeswoman Aimee Campbell said.
Shope is a season ticket holder with Arizona State University’s men’s basketball team and the Arizona Cardinals.
His proposal is universally opposed by Arizona’s professional sports teams and most venues, which argued that most tickets are already transferable.
Ticketmaster, a service used by most teams to sell tickets to fans, said the share of tickets sold with restrictions is a small share of the market.
Andrew Bianchi, Ticketmaster’s director of public policy, said less than five percent of tickets sold on Ticketmaster have restrictions placed on them.
He said the decision to use restriction is usually made by artists or venues to deter scalpers.
“In the rare case where artists and teams limit transferability, we’ve been successful in limiting ticket scalping and fraud on in-demand shows,” Bianchi told the House Finance Committee on Tuesday.
But the share of restricted tickets is rising, according to Carl Szabo, vice president of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association.
A year ago, restricted tickets only made up 1 percent of the market. Restricting tickets is “the way of the future,” and it benefits a company like Ticketmaster that dominates the ticket sale market, Bianchi told the committee.
Similar legislation has passed in states like New York and Virginia. Utah legislators are also considering a similar bill this year that would prevent venues from placing restrictions on more than 10 percent of tickets for a given event, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. That bill has already cleared key votes in the Utah Senate.
Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com