By Pat Kessler

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Minnesota lawmakers are trying to get ahead of the next big thing in concerts and sporting events — e-tickets.

And there’s been a lot of controversy over a bill that would make it much easier to re-sell your e-tickets.

Minnesota made ticket scalping legal five years ago, and it’s been tinkering with the law ever since. Now comes e-tickets on your phone, but you may not be able to re-sell an e-ticket like you can a paper one.

When The Boss comes to town, he’ll make an effort to make sure tickets go to fans, not scalpers.

Concert promoters and sports teams set aside tickets that are hard to re-sell. And some sellers, including eBay and StubHub, are crying foul.

“If you buy a ticket and you pay full price, you are being told you cannot sell it or you have to go back to the original seller,” said Jon Potter, of the Fan Freedom Project. “They will tell you what price to sell it at. That’s not American.”

E-tickets are the next big thing. They’re not in Minnesota yet. Buyers download non-transferable ticket barcodes to cell phones or credit cards instead of paper.

Venue owners say it’s fan protection.

“There’s a battle being waged here. It’s between scalpers and fans. And the scalpers are winning,” said Twins President Dave St. Peter.

St. Peter told a Senate committee the biggest challenge for the new Target Field isn’t the weather. It’s scalpers driving up prices for fans.

“From every part of our sales efforts, from single tickets to group tickets to hospitality sales, we saw huge amounts of tickets gobbled up by out of state fans. And yes sir, they are scalpers,” St. Peter said.

Automated computer programs scoop up $50 tickets within minutes, and re-sell them for hundreds. But supporters say restricting sales in the age of eBay, just won’t play well.

“Imagine if your Vikings hat, your Wild jersey, you Twins bobble head came with resale prohibitions that required you to sell those — if you were allowed to — back at the stadium where you acquired them,”

Very few, if any, e-tickets are sold in Minnesota. But it is coming.

Comments (12)
  1. wick says:

    With all the problems in the state it saddens me to think our government is wasting time with this..

  2. First of all get ahead? Sorry you loose. Second, is there nothing better to worry about? How about the 20% of “jobless” people in this once great state?

  3. just the facts says:

    @married to the stretched truth – From bizjournals dot com (Today’s edition): Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent in January, the lowest since December 2008.

  4. Thomas Keim says:

    i like to think that if you pay for something its your to do as you wish i guess if you buy a car you cant sell it to someone else and that goes for anything else my advice dont buy their tickets .i dont buy any and never have but its a matter of buying something if i pay for it its mine period dont care what they say free enterprise

  5. eric says:

    and why did we legalize scalping tickets again?

  6. Bob says:

    Scalping can only exist when initial ticket prices are set too low. At the “market” price, supply will perfectly match demand. Scalpers provide the necessary liquidity for true market price discovery to occur. Anyone who would restrict scalping is economically illiterate and thus unfit to hold public office.

  7. Dave L says:

    Thats a Great response Bob. I couldnt have said it any better myself. If “scalpers” invest their money in tickets they think will sell out fast, they are doing their due diligence when they invest. Maybe the artists, and venues should set their prices more appropriately for the demand.

  8. Dan says:

    Or Bob and Dave, just maybe the artists would like to have actual fans sit in the first 10 rows of the arena and pay what the artist sets the price at. It is an unfair fight for fans as sophisticated computer programs used by scalpers make it impossible for true fans to buy the best seats at a concert. Passing this legislation will simply allow this to continue.

    1. just the facts says:

      Sorry Dan, but I have to side with Bob & Dave on this one. Also, I’ve never paid a scalper more than face value of the handful of tickets I’ve bought. I sure hope you didn’t get stuck in the 11th row of that upcoming Taylor Swift concert….

  9. tim says:

    check your facts people … the paperless idea actually INCREASES the average price that a non paperless ticket sells at. it’s basic supply and demand. there will be less tickets on stubhub etc but the overall prices will be higher. if you arent able to be there right at 10am to get your tickets from ticketmaster you had better have your credit card ready!!!

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