A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Thursday to reform ticketing systems for sports and music events, The Hill reported.
"The current ticketing system is riddled with problems and doesn't serve the needs of fans, teams, artists, or venues," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the bill's main sponsor, said in a press release Friday. "This legislation would rebuild trust in the ticketing system by cracking down on bots and others who take advantage of consumers through price gouging and other predatory practices and increase price transparency for ticket purchasers."
The Fans First Act, according to Cornyn's office, would promote "ticket sales transparency," strengthen "consumer protection," and stop "bad actors."
Sponsors of the legislation include Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennesee and Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Peter Welch of Vermont, and Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico.
"Buying a ticket to see your favorite artist or team is out of reach for too many Americans," Klobuchar stated in the release. "Bots, hidden fees, and predatory practices are hurting consumers whether they want to catch a home game, an up-and-coming artist or a major headliner like Taylor Swift or Bad Bunny. From ensuring fans get refunds for canceled shows to banning speculative ticket sales, this bipartisan legislation will improve the ticketing experience."
According to The New York Times, in January, during a hearing held by the Judiciary Committee, senators from both parties criticized an executive from Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster, for the system crash that occurred during a Taylor Swift concert presale. The senators called Live Nation a monopoly that causes harm to consumers. Additionally, an antitrust investigation of Live Nation is being conducted by the Justice Department.
During his State of the Union address in February, President Joe Biden said, "We can stop service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make companies disclose all the fees upfront." As a result, in June, ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster and SeatGeek, under pressure from the White House, agreed to introduce "all-in pricing" for tickets.
If the legislation passes, it would require all ticket sellers and resellers to disclose the total cost, including fees and a breakdown of the price. Additionally, sellers would be required to refund the buyer in case of cancellation or postponement.
Live Nation came out in support of the bill, writing in a statement to NBC News: "We believe it's critical Congress acts to protect fans and artists from predatory resale practices, and have long supported a federal all-in pricing mandate, banning speculative ticketing and deceptive websites, as well as other measures."
Nick Koutsobinas ✉
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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