U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., fast becoming the congressional watchdog of the ticketing industry, is at it again, this time setting his attention to the Washington Redskins, which recently admitted to selling tickets to brokers that the team took from season ticket holders who could not pay for them.
Angered over fact that the team sold hundreds of those tickets to brokers while fans remained on its waiting list, the New Jersey Democrat dashed off a letter to his congressional colleagues this month calling for them to support his proposed legislation, called the BOSS ACT which aims to clean up the ticketing industry. The move by the Redskins, and its subsequent lawsuits against season ticket holders who could not meet their contractual obligations, was first reported by The Washington Post.
Calling the relationship between the Redskins and ticket broker “corrupt,” Pascrell said fans deserve to be treated better. The BOSS ACT stands for Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act.
“There is simply no excuse for funneling these tickets directly to the resale marketplace when there are thousands of fans on a waitlist ready, willing, and able to purchase these seats at their face value,” Pascrell wrote. “This is just one of the many corrupt business practices in the ticketing industry that my legislation, H.R. 2669, the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act of 2009, seeks to curtail. The bill would have prevented Redskins fans from being deceived and overcharged in this instance by requiring the distribution method of each ticket be publically disclosed, prohibiting employees of the Redskins organization from knowingly selling tickets to scalpers, and requiring the organization to disclose when it sells tickets directly on the secondary market.”
Following a rash of negative publicity about the lawsuits, the Redskins vacated at least one of the court judgments in its favor, a $66,000 judgment against a 72-year-old grandmother who could not pay the remainder of her 10-year season ticket commitment. Pat Hill of Fairfax County, VA now will not have to pay the judgment, according to The Post.