State lawmakers are looking at a plan that could fix the common problem of scalpers snatching up tickets for popular concerts and events, but some say it could severely strip consumer rights in the process.
It's an experience fans complain about again and again. They line up to buy tickets for a big concert when they go on sale, only to find out there are none available.
Then, they turn to a ticket resale website only to find hundreds of tickets at highly inflated prices.
Country music singer Eric Church decided to charge around $37 for tickets to his show at Bridgestone Arena, but according to his tour manager, scalpers were able snatch up all of the tickets in huge chunks and left fans out in the cold.
"It has also given scalpers the opportunity to insert themselves between Eric and his fans for the sole purpose of making money," said tour manager Fielding Logan.
Local artists, venues and Ticketmaster are pushing a bill in the legislature they believe will cut down on scalping and counterfeit tickets.
"Scalpers use every tool at their disposal, both legal and illegal - but always unethical, to beat out normal fans when tickets go on sale," Logan said.
The plan 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.
But the proposal would also turn a ticket into a revocable license, and that has some people concerned.
"These so-called solutions are giving teams, concert promoters and venues the power to treat all consumers like criminals by stripping us of our ticket ownership rights," said Elizabeth Owen, with the Fan Freedom Project.
Titans season ticket holder John Haycock said most of the time scalped tickets are sold at prices lower than face value and believes companies like Ticketmaster are just trying to eliminate any competition.
"In truth, the people that are pushing this law, they aren't against scalping. They are against other people scalping, and to me that just reeks of hypocrisy," Haycock said.
Lawmakers are trying to figure out how to proceed with this issue. Meanwhile, artists like Eric Church are now selling nontransferable paperless tickets to their shows as a way of beating the scalpers.
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