TN bill would set limits on possible ticket scalping - WSMV News 4

TN bill would set limits on possible ticket scalping

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A bill meant to stop scalpers from deceptive selling now has artists like Martina McBride, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Meat Loaf getting involved in Tennessee politics.

You may remember the controversy the Channel 4 I-Team first uncovered during Garth Brooks' flood benefit concerts. Online vendors bought many of the tickets meant for flood victims and volunteers.

Then, the scalpers resold them at significantly higher prices.

But now, the Tennessee legislature is stepping in.

Ticketmaster and a large group of musicians are behind this legislation. The bill's sponsor says everyone is tired of customers getting shut out from the concerts they want to see.

Tickets to Brooks' concerts were set at $40, which was intended to benefit flood victims. But, scalpers intervened and many fans ended up paying double or triple the face value price.

"This is just an act to try and crack down on that and make sure that consumers are protected and that artists are protected," said State Rep. Ryan Haines, R-Knoxville.

Haines says Nashville's music industry is under attack, so he says many prominent music executives and artists urged him to author a 'safe scalping' bill.

"This bill is supported by all the venues across the state. It's supported by a great many artists from all different types of music," Haines said.

Haines' bill would require ticket resale websites to post both the face value of the ticket and the sale price. It would also require notice of who currently owns the ticket and where the seat is located within the venue.

The bill would also allow venues to decide how they admit customers. For example, some want to use paperless tickets that require proof of purchase to prevent mass scalping.

"I think it's ridiculous," said music fan Adrienne Maloney. "You think a ticket is going to be $15, and then you press submit and it ends up being like $30."

"A lot of times it's because there's companies that are set up going out there using equipment to auto-dial using computers to get up all the tickets. Then, we are left out of the concert and have to go to another website, and pay an exorbitant fee on there," Haines said.

The bill is now set to go before a House committee next week. So far, Haines says he has not heard any opposition, so he expects it to pass without a problem.

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