A state legislator is proposing a bill that would require more disclosure about the number of tickets available to the general public for such events as concerts or athletic contests.
Assemb. Charles Lavine, D-Glen Cove, wants primary market operators, meaning websites or box offices that can be accessed by consumers, to delineate all costs, such as fees, taxes and service charges, as separate charges on each ticket.
But educational institutions and venues with a capacity of less than 10,000 would be exempt.
Lavine's proposal comes after an outcry over the lack of tickets available for the Billy Joel concert last week at the Paramount. Frustrated fans reported that tickets were sold out on Ticketmaster within a minute or two of the sale's start but then offered on Stubhub and other secondary sites, at much higher prices.
“Far too often tickets to New Yorkers’ favorite concerts, sports games and entertainment events have sold out within seconds of when they are put up for public sale,” Lavine said. “That is because the public is not competing for all the tickets but may be competing for as small a portion as seven percent of a venue’s capacity.”
Lavine said the bulk of the tickets are usually claimed by credit card companies, ticket brokers, and scalpers able to purchase large amounts of tickets during online pre-sales. Bands, artists and performers set aside tickets for purchase by members of their fan clubs. Tickets may also be reserved for family and friends of the performers and radio and television promotions account for additional ticket giveaways.The bill would require the number of tickets available to the general public be visible on the website of the primary vendor, at the venue or other physical site of sale so that consumers know what they're facing. Advertisements for events would include the number of tickets available at public sale for each price level in print large enough to be easily seen.