The New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs met with representatives from Ticketmaster Entertainment and TicketNews parent company TicketNetwork early today, May 8, during which the companies voiced a need for fixing the event ticketing industry to benefit fans.
The hearing was called by Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie of Queens, chairman of the committee, so that members of the industry could offer opinions on proposed Bill 727-A, which looks to improve the “sale of tickets to individual consumers by operators of theater, music, or sporting events taking place in New York City at places of entertainment,” according to Comrie.
Friday’s hearing was the first in the process of crafting the bill’s language, and among those who spoke at the hearing were Don Vaccaro, founder and CEO of TicketNetwork; Joe Freeman, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Ticketmaster; Leor Zahavi, founder and CEO of NYC secondary ticket company Admit One; and Andrew Eiler of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
Among the initial proposals in the bill are stipulations that at least 15 percent of the total number of tickets for an event be released from the box office when they initially go on sale; no individual can buy more than four tickets for an event; tickets must be printed with the date and time the sale took place; and a record of the total number of seats that were made available must be displayed for at least six months after an event.
Council Member Comrie, who is also the bill’s primary sponsor, hopes it will help level the playing field between venues, fans, brokers and artists.
“In the aftermath of the price gouging that took place for tickets to Hannah Montana and [Bruce] Springsteen concerts, I feel it is imperative for the Council to address this issue,” he said in a statement. “The average baseball fan can barely afford to attend a game in this City at new stadiums that were built with the help of taxpayers- just look at the empty front-row seats. The ticket resale industry has run amok with no regard for the economic recession that is affecting most New Yorkers.”