The New York Jets are trying to sweeten the deal for prospective season ticket holders this season, offering “exclusive opportunities for other stadium events” to those who choose to purchase season tickets.
Not everyone is happy with this new marketing scheme. In a recent column in the New York Post, Phil Mushnick suggested that the offer was not only in essence unfair to the public but also may be in violation of proposed legislation winding its way through the U.S. House of Representatives.
The bill in question is entitled the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act, or the BOSS ACT, which was introduced in June by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. The measure was in large part a reaction to legislators’s concerns that, while selling tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s Izod Center concert earlier this year, Ticketmaster may have unfairly directed consumers to its secondary ticketing site, TicketsNow. Resale sites usually sell tickets at a premium. Aside from its acronym, the BOSS ACT is also named after Springsteen, who called out Ticketmaster for its alleged practices last February.
The BOSS ACT seeks to increase transparency in the ticketing industry and to enhance accountability for both primary and secondary ticketers. According to a summary on Rep. Pascrell’s site, the bill would require that primary sellers state how many tickets are available for public sale as well as the number withheld. It also would allow for greater disclosure of specific information, as ancillary charges and the total ticket price would have to be printed on each ticket, along with the date and time of purchase and how the ticket was distributed.
Paul Brubaker, Communications Director for Rep. Pascrell, told TicketNews that there is nothing that he can see in the offer as described in Mushnick’s article that would violate the BOSS act.
“Essentially, the BOSS ACT wouldn’t prohibit anything like this from happening,” he said.
According to Brubaker, what the Act would require is that the vendor disclose to consumers the details of this type of marketing plan. Brubaker highlighted the focus on transparency which is central to the bill, stating that the BOSS ACT would “help people understand what the circumstances are when the tickets are up for sale.” At present, the bill is sitting in the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, and over the congressional break its proponents are working to bring others on board to support the bill’s passage.
This is not the first time that the Jets organization has come under fire regarding its ticket marketing strategies. It’s not even the first time this year. In March, a season ticket holder filed a lawsuit against both the New York Giants and the Jets, alleging that the requirement for many season ticket holders to buy PSL’s to help finance the team’s new stadium was a violation of competition law. In May, three Jets fans filed a suit against the team and StubHub, alleging the manipulation of PSL pricing at a public online auction.
The Jets organization did not respond to TicketNews’s requests for comment on the situation.
In addition, Pascrell’s proposed bill would block secondary ticket sellers from purchasing tickets during the first 48 hours of public onsales. Resellers also would be required to provide prospective buyers with information such as the ticket’s face value and related charges, seat location, whether or not the seller has possession of the ticket at the time of sale, and how the seller obtained the ticket. Under the bill, secondary ticketing Web sites would have to state clearly that theirs are resold tickets, and those connected to a ticketer or an event would be prevented from reselling tickets for more than face value, or knowingly reselling tickets to those who would sell above face value.