The NY City Council is getting into the ticket turf fight.
A blog reader and POG who I also refer to as “the other Ken” tipped me off to a City Council meeting that happened on Friday to discuss, “the unavailability of tickets for entertainment venues for people in New York.”
The Council’s concern is when a much-in-demand event like Book of Mormon, Hugh Jackman, Barry Manilow at Radio City (ok, maybe I’m the only one that would pay broker prices for ol’ Barry eyes), it usually sells out instantly . . . and then, of course, the tickets pop up at the StubHubs, as well as all the online secondary market sellers on the world wide interweb. And there are a lot of them . . . just look at this google search result for Book of Mormon tickets.
As you can read in this article-ette about the meeting, the Council is considering a bill “to force large venues to make 15 percent of total tickets available at a physical box office and limit sales to four tickets per person per day.”
And that would be like punishing a kid who didn’t eat his lunch because a bully stole it from him.
This isn’t the fault of the consumer who wants to buy six tickets for his family. This isn’t the fault of the venue owners or Producers (although we could release some of our house seats, as I wrote about here). This is the fault of the de-regulated secondary market, the bigger boys with the even bigger ad-words budgets, and the ease by which those guys can create businesses and resell purchased tickets.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an enemy of the secondary market. I’m a fan of what (the good ones) have done. They offer a service to a select clientele, and they’re able to get more than top dollar for providing that service (if only we could do that, there wouldn’t be a need for them). But that internet and the laws have made access to that business so easy, that anyone with a credit card and a website can be a “ticket broker” and start buying and selling and pi$$ing off customers.
So Council members, be careful who you punish when coming up with a response to this crisis. Don’t pull a Spitzer, who got so upset with facility fees that he forced a resolution that did nothing to help the consumer, and ended up just penalizing the Producer, while allowing the venue owners to do as they wished. And they’ve all had to practically build another theater to house all the cast they’ve made from facility fees over the last decade (you can read about my Spitzer-anger here).
And if you want an opinion on this from a Producer before you craft your bill, you can contact me here.
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