Back To The Box Office

Remember the good ol’ days when going to a concert was as much about waiting in line for tickets alongside fellow fans as it was about seeing the show?

Nebraska State Sen. Gwen Howard does, and she’s planning to propose a bill next year that would take the state ticketing biz back to the old school – for the first two days of an onsale.

Howard’s legislation would limit sales to six tickets per person and require those tickets to be purchased at the venue during the first 48 hours they are available, the Omaha World-Herald reported, in an apparent attempt to give fans an equal opportunity to score tickets and curb scalping.

It seems that yet another state legislator has stepped into the ring in the face of the nationwide Hannah Montana ticket crisis. Howard reportedly received calls and e-mails from frustrated constituents when tickets for the teen star’s show sold out in mere minutes.

The senator said she remembered waiting in line for John Denver tickets years ago, when there seemed to be a more even playing field to score a seat to a show.

"That’s just what you did," she told the Columbus Telegram. "Now it’s very unfair."

The legislation will reportedly apply to facilities that receive state funding, in particular the Qwest Center in Omaha, which hosts most of the largest tours in the area.

But according to Qwest Center CEO Roger Dixon, Howard’s bill is headed in the wrong direction.

Scalpers will still find a way to get there, he told Pollstar and, in the end, the proposal could actually end up preventing people from attending concerts at the arena.

"When these tickets go on sale, it’s going to put a hamper on people because they have to come down to Qwest Center," Dixon said.

Besides causing problems for the average concertgoer, the legislation could also push promoters to look elsewhere for shows.

"We’re a society of convenience," Dixon said. "If the artist and their management see that these are the hoops they have to jump through for a show in Omaha, we’re afraid they’ll say, ‘Nice market, but we’re going to pass.’"

Rather than Howard’s ticket bill, Dixon said anti-scalping legislation could be a step in the right direction for the state, but that previous attempts to broach the issue weren’t taken seriously.

"We had gone to the state legislature two years ago to get an anti-scalping law established statewide, and they all but laughed us out of the committee meeting."