All of a sudden, a moribund 1924 law is showing signs of life. No one has paid much attention to the state’s antiscalping law for years. Not the police. Not state regulators. Not the attorney general’s office. Not ticket resellers themselves. But all of a sudden the moribund 1924 law is showing signs of life.
A Quincy District Court judge last week indicated he plans to force a Weymouth ticket reseller accused of violating the antiscalping law to identify one of its key ticket suppliers. Admit One Ticket Agency LLC, which operates online as RedSoxTix.com, said giving up the name of its supplier would be devastating to its business….
A Kenmore Square ticket agency is warning that a strict interpretation of the antiscalping law at a state regulatory hearing later this month could drive it and every other reseller out of business.
StubHub Inc., a San Francisco-based online marketplace for ticket resellers, last week tried to fend off a New England Patriots legal challenge by arguing that the state’s antiscalping statute only applies to specific licensed events. StubHub says weekend events, like Patriots games, are not among the covered licensed events.
And after several years of giving a pass to street scalpers around Fenway Park, the Boston Police Department now says it plans to be out in force at Tuesday’s Red Sox home opener.
“We are going to enforce the law on the tickets and try to have a lot more visibility to enforce it,” said Captain William B. Evans in an e-mail. He declined to comment further, saying he didn’t want to tip his hand.
Charles Steinberg , Red Sox executive vice president, said the team is doing its part. The Sox last week began selling 200 temporary bleacher seats for home games in an area in right field called Conigliaro’s Corner. To deter scalpers, the tickets must be picked up at Fenway Park on the day of the game, and buyers must enter the park immediately.
The antiscalping statute says anyone in the business of reselling tickets must be licensed by the state and charge no more than $2 above the face value of the ticket.
Price increases of more than $2 are permitted only to recoup membership fees, office expenses, the cost of processing credit card orders, and service charges for things like messengers, postage, long-distance telephone calls, and extensions of credit. A reseller’s cost to acquire a ticket is not a covered expense, according to a 1988 court ruling…. (Full Story)