Governor Weighs Ticketing Bill

Illinois lawmakers passed a bill that would loosen restrictions on the resale of tickets for concert and sporting events.

The bill – which still needs the approval of Gov. Rod Blagojevich – would enable any Illinois resident to legally resell tickets for more than face value through a licensed Internet auction site. Currently, the state only allows 38 licensed ticket brokers to resell tickets, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Many of those licensed brokers have strongly opposed the bill, saying it would fill the market with shady ticket resellers and deprive Chicago of taxes that the brokers currently collect and pay.

Supporters of the bill contend it would level the playing field and weaken the power of black market resellers.

Gov. Blagojevich is still undecided.

The bill will either result in lower prices through competition or cause costs to skyrocket, depending who you ask.

Clear Channel Communications Midwest COO Carl Adams told Crain’s, “This system is just going to drive the prices up even further.”

A representative for eBay – a strong supporter of the bill – told the paper just the opposite: “This law should mean lower prices for consumers. The ticket brokers who are upset about this mainly just want to protect their monopoly.”

The bill would allow sports teams and ticketing companies to operate their own secondary sales operations. One such operation is Ticketmaster‘s TeamExchange, which provides for season ticket holders to sell their unused seats online – in states where it’s legal, of course.

Ticketmaster representatives declined to comment. The company has not offered any media statements on the legislation since it began, although Crain’s said TM “championed” the bill.

Representatives for Clear Channel also offered no further comment.