Schumer Announces Ticketing Bill

Sen. Charles Schumer has announced a bill he says would improve people’s chances of buying tickets for good seats at events at their original price rather than paying more for them through ticket resellers.

The Democratic lawmaker says his legislation would require ticket resellers to wait two days from the time an event’s tickets go on sale to buy tickets.

“The bottom line is we need to create a fair system where fans get first crack at good seats at a reasonable price,” said Schumer, U.S. Senator from New York, in a statement. The announcement came one day before U2 tickets went on sale in a few major markets (April 6).

Schumer’s office says tickets for popular events often sell out immediately but become available minutes later at higher prices through ticket resellers’ Web sites.

Schumer says he’ll meet with executives at Ticketmaster and other ticket distributors to discuss a possible nationwide code of conduct for ticket reselling.

“Ticketmaster recognizes that the ticket resale industry needs far-reaching changes to better protect consumers and ensure fair access to tickets,” Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff said in a statement.

The bill wouldn’t apply to season ticket holders for entertainment events or buyers of packages of tickets for events part of an entertainment series.

The bill would require ticket resellers to obtain a federal registration number from the FTC and mandate that the resellers post that number in conjunction with all ticket resales on brokerage Web sites and through other means. This will help prevent fraudulent, anonymous sales.

For enforcement purposes, the bill would require that all paper and e-tickets contain on their face the date and time of sale. Any falsification of this information will also violate the law.

For Schumer’s legislation to become law, it must be passed by the House and the Senate and signed by President Obama. The bill will be introduced when the Senate meets in two weeks.