Venues push back on tickets legislation - FOX 13 News

Venues push back on tickets legislation

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

If you've tried to snag a ticket to a big concert, game or theater performance, you know it's not easy.

"It's always a surprise how many fees you're going to end up with, and it's generally just confusing and frustrating," concert-goer Nicole Lebeau said.

"It's become kind of a free reign to buy up tickets and resell them. Mark them up 400 to 500 percent and resell them to the same people who would buy your tickets at your box office," said Donna McBride of the Straz Center for Performing Arts

But if you think it's tough to get a good seat at a good price now, just wait. Big ticket brokers like Stub Hub are pushing lawmakers in Tallahassee to pass what they call "fan freedom" bills.

In emails to customers, Stub Hub says it's about protecting your right to sell or give away a ticket, but critics see it very differently.

"They're confusing the issue on a lot of levels and they've told direct falsehoods to consumers, to our legislature, in print on their internet sites and through emails," McBride said. "So we have a very hard fight again this year."

Smaller venues like the Straz Center for Performing Arts and Ruth Eckerd Hall are pushing back. They say the big brokers are hurting their bottom line and actually hurting fans, too.

Instead, they say brokers just want to make it easier to hoard loads of tickets and resell them at huge mark-ups.

"They have a multi-billion dollar industry and can invest a lot of money in lobbyists, and they've been trying to dissolve good laws on the book," McBride said.

The Straz Center is sending out its own email blasts to patrons, urging them to get involved, while they still can.

"I think that what really ends up happening is that not enough consumers are even aware that's going on and they won't be able to do anything about it until it's too late," Lebeau said.

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