The City Council in Denver, CO next week is planning to discuss a measure that would lift its ban on internet ticket sales, a move that would bring the city in line with the rest of the state and most of the country.
Denver and its surrounding eponymous county have long had an anti-scalping ordinance on its books, and resisted making changes to it even after the state approved changes to its laws earlier in the year to allow resale with stronger protections.
The anti-scalping law was relatively easy to enforce at the street level around stadiums and arenas, when authorities dedicated personnel toward it, but internet-based ticket transactions were much more difficult to enforce because of the 24/7 nature of the Web. Only a handful of states still have anti-scalping laws on their books, and Denver will keep its overall anti-scalping law, which prohibits the reselling of tickets for a profit, but it internet resales will not be subject to the law.
“It’s providing a safe alternative for folks to buy tickets,” Councilman Michael Hancock, the sponsor of the bill to lift the ban, told the Denver Daily News. “And lifting the internet ban is the best way.”
Like other states, Colorado has grappled with ticket issues in the past 12-18 months. In the fall of 2007 as the Colorado Rockies made an improbable run to the World Series, the team suffered a cyber-attack that temporarily shut down its playoff ticket sales. And in a separate case, irate fans complained to state officials about how tickets to Hannah Montana concerts were supposedly being snapped up by brokers using “bot” software. Both instances led to the state improving its laws to protect consumers against such activity.
With the Broncos, Avalanche, Nuggets and Rockies, and nearby Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Denver ticket market is robust, and the proposal to lift the ban had universal support from brokers, and was even reportedly backed by Ticketmaster Entertainment.
The council is scheduled to take up the issue on Monday, December 15, and it could go into effect by the end of the year, unless if a member of the public requests a public hearing on the matter. As of today, no such requests had been made.