Camping Out Could be Back in Vogue

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

After hearing from disgruntled Hannah Montana fans complaining they’ve been shut out of the ticket buying process, a Nebraska state senator is proposing event tickets only be sold at the box office when they first go on sale.

Sen. Gwen Howard is planning to propose legislation that would require event tickets to only be available at the venue’s box office for the first 48 hours when they are available. Telephone and online orders could not commence until after that initial window, according to published reports.

Howard believes the move would level the playing field for ticket sales, and stifle online brokers from snapping up blocks of tickets as soon as they went on sale. As in most states now, ticket reselling is allowed in Nebraska, outside of a half-mile buffer zone around an arena.

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But, the plan could pose a logistical nightmare for the arena because it would have to potentially contend with throngs of fans camped out around a facility for hours or days before tickets went on sale. The Qwest Center Omaha would be the most affected arena because it’s where most big-name shows are booked in the state.

In addition, large promoters such as Live Nation and AEG Live may skip Omaha instead of having to deal with the logistics, Roger Dixon, president and CEO of the Qwest venue, told the Omaha World-Herald.