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Lawmakers Debate Ticket Scalping Bill At Capitol

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The Minnesota legislature is wading into a national debate that many concert goers are already having: Should you be allowed to sell your Bruce Springsteen tickets for a profit?

The fight really boils down to that one thing — money.

Some local venues and promoters want to set aside tickets that are safe from scalpers and cannot easily be re-sold. That violates a Minnesota’s scalping laws, however.

Within seconds after Springsteen tickets go on sale, computer bot programs buy them up. Minutes later, they’re on eBay for thousands of dollars.

From Springsteen, Miley Cyrus and even the World Series, it’s getting harder and harder for real people to get tickets for big events.

Minnesota lawmakers say that’s the free market. That’s why the House passed a measure protecting ticket buyers who might give away or re-sell their tickets without restrictions.

“Where else can you go out and buy a product and have somebody else, have the seller dictate to you the terms of that product? The seller is going to have authority over what you do with the product that you have rightfully purchased or rented,” said Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington).

However, with ticket prices for Miley Cyrus a couple of years ago selling on eBay for north of $3,000, a lot of lawmakers are worried.

Local promoters, from the Minnesota Twins to the concert venue Xcel Energy Center, say Minnesota consumers are getting frozen out.

This bill won’t change that.

“I want you to ask yourself: Is this bill gonna make it easier for a consumer to get a ticket at face value? And I think you’ll find the answer to that question is no,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown).

Many concert and sports venues are requiring ticket buyers to show IDs with their tickets to prove they bought them. But that makes it difficult for parents who bought Justin Bieber tickets for their kids.

This bill also requires venues to offer transferrable tickets, but it does not substantially change the way we buy tickets right now.

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