Group wants ticket re-sale restrictions lifted

Some say law would make scalping legal

CLEARWATER - Bay are performing arts theaters and professional sports teams are among those fighting a proposal they say will legalize ticket scalping.

Bob Sanchez bought two seats Wednesday afternoon to see next month's Chicago concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

And now that he's got the tickets. He says it's his right to do what he wants with them.

"If it's a good show and the tickets are all sold out, and I wanted to sell them? I don't have a problem with that," said Sanchez.

It's that line of thinking that the Fan Freedom Project is advocating.

Fan Freedom is supporting two bills in the Florida legislature that would make it legal to resale a ticket once you buy it. They are against paperless tickets for concerts, shows, and sporting events, that require a credit card to get in -- thus preventing re-sales.

"Let's say I can't make it to a game or concert, I might not be able to sell my tickets on-line or even give them away anymore," says on an on-line video on Fan Freedom's website, www.fanfreedom.org

Those at Ruth Eckerd Hall say if this legislation passes in Tallahassee, there will be no restrictions as to what ticket scalpers can do."

Ruth Eckerd Hall sent out a mass email Wednesday, saying the so-called Fan Freedom acts are propaganda designed to benefit the $5 billion dollar ticket resale business for companies such as Stub Hub.

"When you are buying from a secondary ticket seller, you run the risk of overpaying for the same location of a seat, you also run the risk of paying for a ticket that may not be a valid ticket," said Ruth Eckerd Hall's chief marketing officer, Eric Blankenship.

While Sanchez wants to be able to sell his seats if he wants, he's not in favor of big companies like Stub Hub having so much control.

"I'm only taking thee tickets, when one company takes half the tickets, and then they don't leave any for people like me, that's a problem."

A similar bill lifting ticket resale restrictions failed last year. But it's cleared one hurdle after approval by a House committee last week.

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