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The Great Ticket Debate

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC|July 23, 2014

The resale of tickets at exorbitant prices has long plagued sporting events across the globe.

The Great Ticket Debate

The resale of tickets at exorbitant prices has long plagued sporting events across the globe.

It has become commonplace for dedicated fans to be forced to purchase tickets for nearly three times their actual value, all in the name of attending their favorite concert or sporting event.

To combat this widespread epidemic, many states have recently attempted to place restrictions on ticket resales.  One of these restrictions includes replacing standard paper tickets with vouchers that can only be redeemed with the presentation of both a credit card and photo ID. Recently, the New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets, according to FOX11. This new form of “restricted” ticketing makes it extremely difficult—if not impossible—to transfer a ticket to someone else.

Ticketing companies, however, feel they should have a say in the matter.  Both StubHub and Ticketmaster have taken it upon themselves to form opposing nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting the regulation of the secondary market in the United States.  The Fans First coalition, created by Ticketmaster, argues that for some shows, nontransferable tickets—which require the credit card that purchased it for admission—should be an option, as a means of combatting predatory ticket scalping. In addition, the Fan Freedom Project, created by StubHub, aims to prohibit restrictions on resales—claiming that fans should be able to do as they please with tickets that they have purchased.

Large-scale sporting events revolt

Recently, a number of major sporting events have also chosen to put operational measures in place to prevent tickets from being resold on the secondary market for a profit.  At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, official ticket terms and conditions prevented tickets from being resold other than through IOC-approved authorized ticket resellers, or through the official Sochi 2014 resale platform.

The same was the case for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where a special FIFA World Cup Law was passed, prohibiting the resale of tickets.  This World Cup Law supplemented a preexisting law in Brazil, which prohibited all resales of sporting event tickets above face value—known as the “Fan Statute.”

That begs the question, should ticket scalping be regulated?  While there have been a number of event-specific laws introduced in the past, perhaps what society is truly in need of is a single, definitive law, geared towards the ultimate protection of the consumer.

The Great Ticket Debate

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

It has become commonplace for dedicated fans to be forced to purchase tickets for nearly three times their actual value, all in the name of attending their favorite concert or sporting event.

To combat this widespread epidemic, many states have recently attempted to place restrictions on ticket resales.  One of these restrictions includes replacing standard paper tickets with vouchers that can only be redeemed with the presentation of both a credit card and photo ID. Recently, the New York Jets are doing away with paper tickets, according to FOX11. This new form of “restricted” ticketing makes it extremely difficult—if not impossible—to transfer a ticket to someone else.

Ticketing companies, however, feel they should have a say in the matter.  Both StubHub and Ticketmaster have taken it upon themselves to form opposing nonprofit organizations dedicated to fighting the regulation of the secondary market in the United States.  The Fans First coalition, created by Ticketmaster, argues that for some shows, nontransferable tickets—which require the credit card that purchased it for admission—should be an option, as a means of combatting predatory ticket scalping. In addition, the Fan Freedom Project, created by StubHub, aims to prohibit restrictions on resales—claiming that fans should be able to do as they please with tickets that they have purchased.

Large-scale sporting events revolt

Recently, a number of major sporting events have also chosen to put operational measures in place to prevent tickets from being resold on the secondary market for a profit.  At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, official ticket terms and conditions prevented tickets from being resold other than through IOC-approved authorized ticket resellers, or through the official Sochi 2014 resale platform.

The same was the case for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where a special FIFA World Cup Law was passed, prohibiting the resale of tickets.  This World Cup Law supplemented a preexisting law in Brazil, which prohibited all resales of sporting event tickets above face value—known as the “Fan Statute.”

That begs the question, should ticket scalping be regulated?  While there have been a number of event-specific laws introduced in the past, perhaps what society is truly in need of is a single, definitive law, geared towards the ultimate protection of the consumer.

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