Senate Committee Tables Ticket Scalping Bill

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-10 17:42:35-04

LANSING, Mich. (June 10, 2014) – Representatives from groups across the country spoke out during the Senate Government Operations Committee hearing Tuesday on a bill that would legalize ticket scalping in Michigan, but lawmakers took no action.

House Bill 5108, which was approved by a 66-42 bipartisan vote in the lower chamber, would allow a ticket holder to charge more than face value when re-selling a ticket.

It targets Public Act 328, which was put on the books back in 1931.

The measure is opposed by several sports organizations, universities and venues across the state, including the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers, Western Michigan University and Van Andel Arena.

Supporters of HB 5108 say its passage is a victory for consumers. 

“If you have a concert ticket and it’s $27, but it cost you more than that, you couldn’t sell that legally to Sen. (Tupac) Hunter and recoup your processing, tax, handling fees,” said Linda Teeter, with Michigan Citizen Action.

Ticket sellers say the measure empowers scalpers and leaves venues helpless when consumers bring them problems.

“We cannot exchange a ticket when it’s been bought from a broker,” said Diane Wilcox, with the Wharton Center. “We cannot help the consumer if there’s been a time change, or a venue change, or a date change, or parking issue, or a traffic concern. We can’t do that if they’ve purchased from a broker because our purchaser of record is the broker.”