Don’t cater to scalpers

A bill proposed in the state Senate will make it harder to find face-value tickets.

Daily Editorial Board

It could soon be much harder to find a reasonably priced ticket to a concert or sporting event in the Twin Cities. State Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, has proposed a bill that would prevent venues from restricting the online sale of tickets, a move that would mean fewer tickets available at face value and higher overall ticket prices for Minnesotans.

Gerlach intends for the bill to empower consumers by removing restrictions on their actions after buying a ticket. However, it will actually empower professional scalpers gaming the system to wring more money from average consumers and artificially inflate the price of tickets on online secondary market sites like StubHub.

If reselling restrictions are lifted, scalpers can buy up tickets with no intention of going to the event, quickly selling it out and making the online secondary market the only place to buy tickets. Buyers will be unable to purchase tickets at face value and instead be forced to find tickets on the online secondary market where they will cost significantly more.

However, the secondary market is valuable for those who have bought tickets and have a legitimate reason to sell them.

To preserve the secondary ticket market while keeping it fair for all consumers, lawmakers should work to establish an online verification system in which paperless ticket resellers would need to have accounts tied to real-life identities. This would preserve the freedom of the online secondary ticket market while curbing its worst abuses.

As it stands now, GerlachâÄôs bill would allow a class of professional ticket scalpers to skim money out of the system and make it almost impossible for Minnesotans to pay a reasonable price for their tickets.