Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ticket Scalping Laws to Change?

In an interesting move, the trade association representing Broadway theaters and producers is doing an 180 and now is asking state officials to dismantle the laws that limit the resale of tickets to musicals, plays, concerts and other events.

What does this mean to consumers? Well, I think it may mean higher ticket prices for hot shows, at least on the secondary (resale market) Right now there is a law (that expires in June) that lets licensed ticket resellers charge up to 45 percent above the face value of tickets for large events. But for places with fewer than 6,000 seats, like most Broadway theaters, those brokers are limited to no more than 20 percent, or $5 over face value, whichever is greater.

Some quotes from the nytimes article:

Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the League of American Theaters and Producers, said that ticket prices “would probably not skyrocket”

“They essentially want to set up their own auction sites,” said Russ Haven, the legislative counsel for the New York Public Interest Research Group, which opposes lifting the caps. He said that consumers “will see higher ticket prices, with no other benefits.”

Christine Anderson, a spokeswoman for Mr. Spitzer, said the governor believed that ticket prices should be set by the free market. “If you own a pair of shoes, or a ticket, it’s up to you if you want to sell it on the street or burn it,” she said.

Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester assemblyman who sits on the committee that regulates tourism, said that allowing prices to skyrocket could put tickets out of reach of Broadway visitors. “If you’re not on an expense account or a millionaire, it will be much harder to get tickets for hot shows,” he said.

And then fellow blogger playgoer has a nice piece: "authorized auction sites"

The general consensus is that not many people think this is a good idea. What do you think?

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