FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2009
SCHUMER UNVEILS NEW LEGISLATION TO CRACK DOWN ON TICKET RESELLERS AND DRAMATICALLY BRING DOWN PRICES FOR FANS - NEW TWO-DAY WAITING PERIOD WILL ALLOW FANS TO GET FIRST CRACK AT ORIGINALLY PRICED TICKETS
With countless Upstate New Yorkers expected to huddle in front of computers and telephones this summer trying to get tickets for concerts, sports events and circuses, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled new legislation to improve music lovers and sports fans’ chances of getting tickets at face price and crack down on ticket resellers by imposing a two-day waiting period from when tickets go on sale via an authorized sales channel before a ticket reseller can buy those tickets to put on the secondary market. Schumer’s legislation would help ensure that fans have a fighting chance at good seats at face value prices before ticket-resellers buy up tickets to sell on the secondary market. Schumer’s legislation will also require ticket resellers to obtain a federal registration number from the FTC, and post that number in conjunction with all ticket re-sales on brokerage website and through other means.
Schumer today also announced that he has discussed his proposed legislation with Ticketmaster and that Ticketmaster supports his proposal as well as his efforts to reform and bring more transparency to the resale industry. Schumer said that he will meet with the heads of Ticketmaster and other ticket distributors to discuss a possible code-of-conduct for ticket reselling in Upstate New York and across the country.
“Buying concert tickets has become like taking a trip back to the Wild West – anything goes,” Schumer said. “When the scalping market destroys initial ticket sales and all tickets sold at face value are hoarded by resellers before New Yorkers have a chance to buy them, any attempt to keep prices down by the sellers and artists is made impossible. The bottom line is we need to create a fair system where fans get first crack at good seats at a reasonable price.”
"I am very happy to support Sen. Schumer's thoughtful proposal and leadership on this issue,” said Irving Azoff, CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. “Ticketmaster recognizes that the ticket resale industry needs far-reaching changes to better protect consumers and ensure fair access to tickets. Staggering the resale process to commence 48 hours after an onsale is a very important step in reforming the process and bringing transparency to the onsale process."
To ensure fans get first crack at tickets for major concerts and sporting events, Schumer today announced he will introduce new legislation in the Senate that will impose a two-day waiting period from when tickets go on sale via an authorized sales channel before a ticket reseller can buy those tickets to put on the secondary market. The bill will not apply to season ticket holders for entertainment events or purchasers of a package of tickets for multiple events that are part of the same entertainment series. A secondary seller can purchase those tickets once they are listed for sale by the ticket holder subject to and in accordance with state and local laws and regulations.
The bill will also require ticket resellers to obtain a federal registration number from the FTC and will mandate that the resellers post that number in conjunction with all ticket resales on brokerage websites and through other means. This will help prevent fraudulent, anonymous sales. Venues may buy back tickets from ticket holders without obtaining a registration number. Finally, for enforcement purposes, the bill will require that all paper and e-tickets contain on their face the date and time of sale. Any falsification of this information will also violate the law.
Schumer’s bill does not make ticket reselling illegal because consumers can benefit from a secondary ticket market. When ticket buyers need to sell their own tickets, or they want to attend an event and are willing to pay more not to be part of the initial stampede for tickets, ticket reselling is acceptable.
Schumer today also commended Ticketmaster for acting responsibly in early February by announcing a policy to no longer allow the prelisting of tickets on TicketsNow and for working cooperatively with him to enhance consumer protection and make the ticket sale process more transparent to the public. Schumer also called on other resale websites to immediately implement similar voluntary measures to bar the prelisting of tickets pending passage and implementation of his legislation.