Consumer advocates are hailing a new “gold standard” in ticketing legislation, as Colorado passed HB24-1378, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. Jared Polis. The new law will add “all-in” ticket price transparency for consumers in the state, as well as guarantee refunds for cancelled shows, and ban the use of deceptive websites that impersonate a venue or competing ticket seller.

These new protections, added to Colorado’s existing protection of a consumer’s right to transfer or resell tickets they have purchased without restrictions put in place by the original seller or team, put Colorado at the forefront of consumer ticket rights across the country, according to consumer advocates.

“Colorado is once again leading the way in protecting fans,” said National Consumers League Vice President John Breyault in a release issued by the Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights. “We appreciate the commitment that Gov. Polis and leaders in the Colorado General Assembly have shown to ensuring that fans get a fair shake in the Centennial State.”

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“With the passage of HB 24-1378, Colorado is poised to become the nation’s gold standard for consumer protection in live event ticketing,” added Brian Hess, Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition. “Colorado started with transferability, now the Centennial State adds upfront all-in pricing, refund guarantees, and bans on deceptive websites. It has been a long process to reach this momentous point, and HB-1378 will stand as a shining example of what can be accomplished with strong, consensus-driven leadership and with consumer protection advocates at the table from the start. We commend Representatives Lindstedt and Valdez and Senators Gardner and Sullivan for standing up for all of Colorado’s fans.”

Colorado took a winding path over the past two years to the passage of HB 24-1378. Gov. Polis actually vetoed a controversial bill that the venue and promoter lobby strongly supported during last year’s session. That bill was rejected as unacceptable by consumer organizations for handing too much power to venues and promoters in regulating their own industry.

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This year’s bill includes many of the same transparency and consumer protection provisions that the vetoed bill had, but without the loophole that would have potentially empowered entities like Live Nation, AEG, or other event operators to declare their own competition illegal. It also leaves out some measures that consumer groups support, such as restrictions on so-called “holdbacks” – where large blocks of tickets are held back from initial sale, to be dripped slowly on to the market with the intention of keeping prices high by implying lower supply for consumers.

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From the Colorado Sun:

Part of the lawmakers’ goal in reshaping the bill was to create something that avoided igniting “the most intense corporate passions of the Ticketmasters of the world by going after that holdback provision,” said Representative Alex Valdez of Denver, one of the sponsors of the bill.

Put more bluntly, holdbacks are “the primary market secret sauce,” Hess said.

Governor Polis has 30 days to decide whether he will sign the bill into law. It is expected that he will do so, but if he does not, the bill will expire and lawmakers will have to go back to the drawing board once more.