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Purchasers’ rights and ticket resales

Published (3/30/2012)
By Erin Schmidtke
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Event operators can currently restrict reselling through methods such as requiring proof that the original buyer’s identification matches the ticket user.

Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) sponsors HF657, which would ban attempts to limit ticket resale. The House passed the bill 83-50 on March 27. Sen. Chris Gerlach (R-Apple Valley) sponsors its companion, SF425, which awaits action by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

Hoppe successfully amended the bill to allow exemptions for higher education institutions, which frequently sell event tickets that are intended only for students.

Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) spoke in support of the bill, arguing that imposing resale restrictions is a violation of fans’ rights as purchasers.

“Where else do you go and buy a product where the seller dictates what you do with it?” he asked.

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) asserted that ticketholders should have the right to sell their tickets as they would any other property item.

“When I buy a ticket, I should have the right to use my ticket or give it to someone else,” she said.

Some members wondered whether the bill would ease the resale process for everyday consumers or simply increase ticket prices by assisting large-scale scalpers.

“At first glance, it looks like it’s going to protect the consumer who’s holding the ticket. I would argue this will help the scalpers and the resellers,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown).

Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) also expressed concern, claiming that the bill would create unneeded requirements for venue operators and event promoters.

“I don’t see your bill as a free market bill; I think your bill as an overreach from one group of people,” he said.

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