Big storm clouds looming on the secondary ticket market horizon have again blown out to sea in the Sunshine State.
Legislation – two bills actually – designed to place stricter rules on re-selling and in some instances criminal penalties for some re-selling, never made it to the respective floors of the House and Senate for final votes.
“We’ve been calling it the ticket wars legislation,” said Jimmy Siegendorf, the president and CEO of the Florida-based marketplace Premium Seats USA. “The bills, in their original form, are real problematic for concert goers.”
Siegendorf was referring to House Bill 463 and Senate Bill 742, the latest to visit the State House over the past decade of debate over the secondary ticket market’s role in ticket sales.
Provisions of the bills include:
• Defining a ticket as a revocable license that can be revoked at any time, with or without cause and with our without refund. Teams and promoters could essentially sell and later revoke tickets, and lawfully keep the money.
• Making it a criminal act to purchase online a quantity of tickets in excess of “authorized limits.”
• Excluding online marketplaces such as Stubhub, TicketNetwork and the Vivid Seats of the world from the definition of a reseller.
Siegendorf said the Florida Ticket Brokers Association fought hard against the legislation, especially the provision criminalizing consumers purchasing and reselling tickets.
“Say Taylor Swift is in town,” Siegendorf said. “And say the ticket limit is posted at six. Then, say, someone buys a seventh. That could be a criminal offense if the bill is passed. That’s bad for consumers and for business.”
So what’s next?
Siegendorf said his association is continuously looking to make the consumer experience better.
“We want to work together to develop something that is good for the industry and addresses the bad apples in both the primary and secondary markets, who make up a small percentage of this industry. In the end we want to work out a compromise that doesn’t harm hard working and honest businesspeople.”
Does that mean this legislation will come up again?
“Yes, we are prepared for it to be revisited in the next session,” Siegendorf said, “and we plan to fight just as hard to make sure Florida lawmakers pass legislation that improves consumers concert going experiences.”