"Ticket Brokers" Bill Will Not Go Forward
Lawmakers ask DCP to study the issue.
A controversial bill that would have relaxed restrictions for online ticket brokers will not go forward in this legislative session. Lawmakers say they need more time to determine what’s best for Connecticut consumers.
Ticket scalping was legalized in Connecticut in 2007. Now there’s a flourishing online ticket resale market. Resale brokers supported a bill that would have required entertainment and sports venues to only sell tickets that could be resold.
But after a public hearing in February, State Senator Paul Doyle says something happened that changed everything.
"For the first time clearly in the history of Connecticut and maybe nationwide a lawsuit was filed during session about comments made at a public hearing where legislatures look for open and free-flowing comments about bills. The impact of the lawsuit served as a chilling effect on the legislature’s ability to hear both sides of the legislation and learn whats best for all of us."
The online website TicketNetwork sued David Fay, CEO of Hartford’s Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts for comments he made during the public hearing. State Representative Joe Taborsak says lawmakers will pull the so-called “Ticket Brokers” bill and ask the Department of Consumer Protection to study the issue.
"We’re slowing this process down and we’re charging our new Commissioner with providing us with an objective analysis of how the current ticket sales environment affects consumers in the state of Connecticut."
Opponents of the bill say consumers are often confused by misleading online ticket resale websites that raise ticket prices 3, 4 or 5 times their face value. Entertainment agencies representing performers like Miley Cyrus, AC/DC and Bon Jovi sent letters to Connecticut lawamkers opposing the bill.
Chuck Steedman is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hartford’s XL Center. "We want to make sure that if some legislation is enacted its not going to so dramatically impact the business community by shows that may say, “We don’t like that bill. We’re not going to come to CT anymore”.
Ticket brokers say the online resale market provides robust competition and allows consumers to choose where they want to buy or sell tickets.
For WNPR, I'm Diane Orson.