Legislature weighs ticket-buying changes - FOX 13 News

Legislature weighs ticket-buying changes

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Patrons who buy tickets to concerts or shows should pay attention to developments in the Florida Legislature. State lawmakers could change the ticket rules.

It's a relatively simple, one-page bill that would give us the right to buy tickets without restrictions. Supporters say it would give ticket buyers much more freedom. Critics claim it could drive up prices for all of us.

Some venues will restrict how many tickets you can buy or limit your ability to transfer or re-sell them. Also, as more events move to paperless tickets, only the buyers can claim them -- which can make it tricky to give them as gifts.

But managers of theaters and concert halls say they need restrictions to protect consumers.

"I think they should have limits because I've tried to get tickets five minutes after tickets went on sale and they were already sold out. It's impossible sometimes for regular fans to find tickets to games," said Bradenton sports fan Dan Awalt.  

The bill would also lift restrictions for brokers that buy and resell tickets. So critics of this legislation say, if you think it's difficult to find good seats at face value now, this bill would make it even harder.

"If these restrictions go away, there is nothing to protect the consumer,"  said Michael Kilgore, VP of marketing for the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. "The people who run those companies come in and buy even more tickets… It has nothing to do with fan freedom. It has everything to do with making the most for companies out of state."

The bill has cleared its first hurdle in a House subcommittee.

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