Senators Want E-Ticket Freedom

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee is examining a bill that would take away restrictions on e-tickets or paperless tickets in Minnesota. The bill, Senate File 425, would make e-tickets transferable without having to return to the original organization that sold it.

“We’re trying to eliminate prohibition on reselling tickets,” said Republican Sen. Michael Jungbauer, a co-author of the bill. “Whether, it’s in a secondary market or … more importantly for the private individual.”

When an e-tickets is purchased it gets downloaded into a cell phone or placed on a credit card.

The Minnesota Twins has an online ticket management system. To purchase a ticket there, you need to open an online account. If you would like to transfer the ticket, it’s all handled through their website.

Jungbauer and the primary author of the bill, Sen. Chris Gerlach, are trying to make the process of transferring a ticket easier by changing the restrictions — which are sometimes found on the back of a physical ticket.

“To me, when I buy a ticket, it’s mine. I should be able to do what I want with it,” said Jungbauer. “It’s not a security issue like at the airport.”

Most sports teams and concert promoters are against the bill and want restrictions left alone. They told the committee on Tuesday those who would benefit the most from the bill are scalpers. Five years ago Minnesota lawmakers made ticket scalping legal.

“I understand, whether it’s a sports team or an artist that has a venue, they’d like to keep the tickets affordable and keep count,” said Jungbauer. “There’s this natural fight between the free market … the secondary market or private individual and the artist or sports team wanting to make sure their seats are full.”

On Tuesday, Jungbauer asked some of the spokespeople from the venues if there was a way they could work together on this bill. He asked sports teams, “how much control do you want?’ Is there a happy medium?”

The bill will be voted on by the committee next week. Jungbauer says he and Gerlach want to hear from people and find out if there’s some kind of compromise they can reach.

“Again we’re trying to protect the free market,” said Jungbauer.

More from Edgar Linares
  • Wesly

    This is the pro business effort out of the legislature? Surely they have some ideas, but thus far no legislation. The previous governor traveled the world on the government dollar (without complaint from the fiscal hawks) and never produced (he would have promoted what he had done). It would appear that no one in the majority party in the legislature has an answer on how to get the economy going.

    • Matt

      This is a common misconception, the government can’t “get the economy going” all they can do is cut taxes and restrictions and get out of the way.

  • gtV

    Leave the status quo alone on ticket purchasing. It’s bad enough when outside ticket brokers &/or scalpers buy blocks of tickets for reselling to the highest bidder. It’s just as bad when the average Joe/Suzy can’t get tickets in advance for their personal or family’s use because the ticket pirates control the ticket market.

    Minor small change scalpers on game venue corners are not the issue but the big moneyed ticket shysters who try to control the flow and price of the market. If you purchase eTickets for your own use and can’t go then hand them over to be scalped. That’s your prerogative. However, if your an out-of- MN ticket broker with deep pockets who wants to control the market then look out. It’s going to cost you.

    All parties should sit down civilly to discuss how to best serve the ticket buying market. Compromise folks and make everybody happy. If you don’t it will be business as usual with the fan base suffering for tickets as usual.

    • Bill

      I especially agree with you on the Brokers and Scalpers.
      Several times I’ve been unable to buy tickets from the Twins or other the sources without giving two arms and a leg!!

  • Peter

    At the same time we want a market with as little government restriction as possible, we must acknowledge government’s responsibility to see all, or at least as many as possible, have access to a fair and functioning marketplace. Adam Smith went so far as to say it is the function of government to provide for a fair and functioning market place. The recent financial meltdown is a case in point. Government failed to provide adequate regulation.
    At its essence, this ticket issue is the same dilemma being discussed in Wisconsin relative to public employee unions and collective bargaining rights.
    In my opinion, any time a few stand to gain at the expense of the many, or conversely when a few are asked to pay the freight for the many, it is not inherently fair.
    The legislatures in both states have the power to enact into law what ever they want. Simply having the power to do something doesn’t make it right. At least Republican legislators in both states are consistent. They appear to me to be looking for any way they can find to give to the few at the expense of the many.

  • big donny

    no if you buy a eticket you should not resell it ,cause who knows how many times that person sold that ticket!!!!!! this will keep those dirt bag ticket brokers not buy half or as many tickets as thy like and resell them for a profit!!!!!!. i,am sick and tried of trying to buy a seat as soon as thy go on sale ,but sold out as soon as the tickets do go on sale ,cause ticket brokers buy them up first ,

  • Minnesota Senators Support Fans’ Rights » Fan Freedom Project

    […] can read more about what Sens.  Jungbauer and Gerlach think about the issue here. « Return to News & […]

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