In a move designed to improve transparency for ticketing, the state of Minnesota, which began allowing ticket resale two years ago, is about to formally pass new legislation that will require all tickets for an event or game be available for sale from the beginning.
Bill SF0759 is winding its way through the legislature and could come up for a floor vote as early as next week. It not only calls for all tickets to be made available when tickets go on sale, it also prohibits companies from rerouting customers from a primary source to a secondary one.
“The initial seller of tickets shall make available for sale all tickets under control of the initial seller in the manner and under terms directed by the provider of the event or venue. The initial seller shall not, unless authorized by the provider of the event or venue, divert tickets from the initial sale to the general public to be sold in any other manner or under any other terms. No person or entity, with intent to defraud, may sell a ticket that is invalid, counterfeit, altered, or otherwise not genuine,” the proposed bill states.
Under the language of the bill, all internet-based ticketing Web sites will be required to adhere to the specific policies outlined by both the venue of the event and the organization or artists responsible for the event. In addition to adhering to those guidelines, the new piece of legislation also prohibits internet ticket sale Web sites from directing customers from their primary site to a secondary site owned by the same umbrella company.
This precautionary measure within the bill is meant to be a response to the recent Bruce Springsteen ticket issue, during which Ticketmaster.com rerouted customers to their TicketsNow.com site. Upon being rerouted to TicketsNow.com, customers were offered tickets at prices that exceeded the recommended prices for the tour put in place by Springsteen. The Boss himself spoke out against the situation on his personal website, writing that he and his “Tour Team” all “condemn this practice.”
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is just one of several states looking to make changes to their ticket resale rules. Other states looking at making changes include Florida and North Carolina.
Should Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty sign the bill into law, the changes would be implemented on August 1, 2009. Requests for comment from the bill’s authors were not returned.