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.