Ticket brokers in New York can breathe a little easier for another year.
By an overwhelming vote of 133-9 on Monday, the New York State Assembly decided to extend the free market for ticket resale in the state for another year, meaning ticket brokers can continue to charge whatever the market will bear to resell sports, concert and theater tickets.
The decision still requires the signature of Gov. David Paterson, who earlier in the year sought to tack on a 4 percent tax on ticket sales to help ease the state’s budgetary problems. He eventually scrapped the idea.
In recent months, the secondary ticket market has come under intense scrutiny as Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation attempt to merge, and the relationship between Ticketmaster and its TicketsNow subsidiary drew the ire of Bruce Springsteen fans over the way the two companies handled ticket sales. In the wake of these issues, politicians have practically fallen all over themselves to introduce new regulations to address some consumer complaints, including New York State Rep. Richard Brodsky, who sought to place caps on ticket resale in the state.
While Brodsky’s proposal has been temporarily shelved, the resolution passed Monday calls for the Secretary of State and the legislature to further study the secondary ticket market for the next year and consider changes or additional consumer protections.
“This is a fight worth having if we really believe that the middle class should have access to the things that we’ve all taken for granted,” Brodsky told the New York Times.
The resolution passed on Monday also prohibits primary ticket sellers, such as Ticketmaster, from selling or conveying tickets to a secondary ticket company it owns (like TicketsNow).
“We applaud what the Legislature has done to extend the free market in New York,” broker Jason Berger, a principal with AllShows.com, told TicketNews. Berger, whose company has New York and Connecticut offices, has been among the brokers who have worked to get New York to keep it’s free market. “We are happy to report that the average price of tickets has gone down in the secondary market over the past two years. We welcome the upcoming study and we are confident that the research and analysis will reflect a fair, transparent market that works primarily for the benefit of consumers.”