In a move designed to protect consumers, Connecticut’s General Assembly is considering a proposed bill that would prohibit sports teams, concert promoters, theater producers or venues from punishing season ticket holders who decide to resell some or all of their tickets.
House Bill 6516, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jim Shapiro, is a step toward further solidifying free-market ticket resale ushered in two years ago in Connecticut when scalping was legalized.
It follows the lead of New York State, which two years ago was the first state to institute protections for season ticket holders. This week, New York extended its free market for ticket resale, and will revisit the overall issue next year.
The Connecticut proposal essentially allows season ticket holders in the state to participate in the free market however they want as it relates to their tickets. If they can’t make a game, or they want to recoup some of their cost of buying season tickets, they can do so safely under the bill. In addition, the move could potentially also protect Connecticut’s New England Patriots fans from having their season tickets revoked by the team. The Patriots prohibit the resale of season tickets and sued StubHub three years ago to stop fans from using the Web site to scalp their tickets.
The proposed bill reads in part:
An original issuer of a ticket or the duly authorized agent of such issuer who sells a ticket to any person in this state for an entertainment event, including, but not limited to, a sporting event, concert or theatrical or operatic performance, shall not restrict, prohibit or revoke any season ticket or season ticket rights or deny entry to any person in possession of a ticket based on the fact that the season ticket holder has resold or the person possessing the ticket has purchased a resold ticket. Nothing in this section shall restrict a venue’s right to restrict entry to an event based on health, safety or security policies or concerns.
“At first glance this looks to be a very fan-friendly proposal for Connecticut residents,” Sean Pate, spokesperson for StubHub, told TicketNews.
Stacey James, spokesperson for the Patriots, did not reply to a request seeking comment.
Connecticut legislators were in the midst of a flurry of activity today as the current session comes to a close, and attempts to reach Shapiro and other proponents of the bill were unsuccessful.
The New York law was drawn up in part to protect New York Yankees fans who were facing the prospect of having their season tickets revoked two years ago if they resold them through other outlets besides the team.