The proposed TICKET Act was advanced out of the Commerce Committee in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, bringing mandated “all-in” ticket pricing a step closer to being reality for consumers shopping for tickets in the United States. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (D-TX) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) would require that the total ticket price, including all fees, would be displayed up front.

“With the TICKET Act, the days of the exasperated sports fan or concertgoer being unable to accurately comparison-shop for a ticket to the big game or the perfect show are over,” Cruz said in a statement issued after the bill was advanced. “Hidden and extra fees for live events are confusing and deeply frustrating for consumers who simply want to find the best-priced ticket whether it’s sold by the venue, a reseller, or a scalper. I am proud to have worked with Chairwoman Cantwell in authoring the TICKET Act and hope the Senate takes up our legislation quickly. Fans and key stakeholders in the event ticket industry all agree—increasing price transparency for tickets will help consumers and promote competition.”

While federally-mandated all-in ticket pricing has long been a priority for many looking to bring forward a more transparent ticketing experience, consumer advocates blasted the decision to strip the TICKET Act of a second proposed section which would have also required transparency on “speculative” tickets listed for sale – a type of listing indicating that the seller does not yet own the tickets being listed, but promises to provide them to the buyer before the event.

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“We are extremely disappointed that the Commerce Committee bowed to pressure from industry opponents and missed an opportunity to reduce the risk that fans end up high and dry without tickets to events they had otherwise planned to attend,” reads a statement provided by the consumer groups behind the Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights campaign. The group says it continues to support the bill due to the importance of true pricing transparency, but lamented the loss of what it calls a key consumer protection measure needed in the space.

New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell was also critical of the bill moving forward without the “speculative ticket” transparency measures.

“In the middle of this heat wave let me throw a bucket of ice-cold water on this ticket bill they considered in a Senate committee,” said Congressman Pascrell. “An already anemic bill further weakened during mark-up today was a missed opportunity to fix the corrupt and broken ticket market. I first proposed legislation mandating all-in ticket pricing 14 years ago and this piece is necessary but frankly less than the bare minimum.”

Rep. Pascrell has put forward the BOSS and SWIFT Act in the House of Representatives, which would address “all-in” pricing, as well as “speculative” ticket disclosures, plus a number of other reforms to the ticket buying experience.

For now, however, the Senate will consider “all-in” pricing as a standalone measure for consumers if the TICKET Act is brought to the full chamber for consideration now that it has passed out of the committee stage. Some companies have already promised “all-in pricing” to the Biden Administration as a voluntary action, but industry experts agree that in order for it to be fully adopted, it must be an industry-wide rule.

Last Updated on July 28, 2023