New Ticket For NY

New York lawmakers recently opened the floodgates on the secondary ticket market, following a trend that sees fewer and fewer states continuing to regulate resales.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed a measure June 1st that in effect repeals the state’s scalping statute.

"Scalping laws did not make sense," Spitzer told the New York Times. "This will be good for the venues, good for consumers and good for the artists."

Previously, N.Y. law permitted resales at face value plus 45 percent for venues seating more than 6,000. All other tickets could be sold at face value plus 20 percent.

The new legislation establishes a free secondary market, but also requires that ticket brokers obtain licenses and file bonds with the Secretary of State.

According to the bill, brokers operating from an office within the state will pay $5,000 to license that principal office, and $1,000 per additional branch annually.

Web sites that serve as platforms to facilitate resale through competitive bidding, however, are generally exempt from the state’s annual licensing fees.

StubHub spokesman Sean Pate said the company is pleased the state legislature is recognizing what consumers want.

"Tickets for the hottest events regularly sell for premium prices today," Pate told Pollstar. "When the entire public feels comfortable selling tickets it will level the playing field some. Your neighbor who sells their extra Yankees ticket now may price it for what they paid, but if they wish to price what it’s worth on the open market they should absolutely be permitted to do so."

It’s become common practice for some sports teams to revoke the season tickets of fans found selling on the secondary market. The New England Patriots filed suit against StubHub and fans found using the site last November, claiming the company was violating the team’s rules against reselling tickets for profit. The Yankees have also canceled season tickets resold by fans.

The bill would prohibit sports teams, as well as operators of places of entertainment, from restricting the resale of tickets as a condition of purchase.

New York is just the latest of a handful of states to pass this type of statute.

Illinois, Florida and Minnesota dropped or relaxed their anti-scalping laws in the past year, and similar legislation is being considered in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Missouri.