When it comes to ticket resale and the law, most consumer advocates agree that it is the customer that loses. Colman Herman, a consumer advocate in Massachusetts, agrees with that notion and says the resale law in the Bay State was supposed to be designed to protect consumers, but instead does anything but.
“Last year, there was draft legislation that would have changed the state law to allow a ticket resale price cap of three times face value,” he said in an op-ed piece in Tuesday’s Boston Globe. “But the bill that came out of committee dropped the price cap. In other words, the sky’s the limit on ticket prices. The bill also dropped the 5-cent enforcement provision. High-priced lobbyists for ticket resellers had their way.”
The Massachusetts state resale law has come under scrutiny following the controversy surrounding Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi’s relationship with Richard Vitale, a close friend of the speaker, who accepted $60,000 from ticket brokers to help get the law changed. Vitale was called to testify at a public hearing on June 5 after failing to register as a lobbyist, but refused to do so saying he was only a strategist for the brokers.
Herman appeared on the New England Cable Network’s “News Night”, on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Video of his appearance is located at the bottom of the story.
“It’s an anti-consumer legislation dressed up as pro-consumer,” he said about the proposed change in the state’s ticket resale law.
The secondary ticket market has come under more scrutiny in the past few weeks, partly because of huge prices for tickets to the NBA Finals, which feature Massachusetts own Boston Celtics, with prices nearing $50,000 each. That is in addition the continuous debate about the Boston Red Sox, who have the highest ticket prices on both the primary and secondary markets.
“[Sports] are part of our social and cultural fabric,” Herman said to NECN. “Now it’s the sport of kings.”