There are some rights and protections concertgoers and sports fans should have when buying tickets.
Protect Ticket Rights (www.protectticketrights.org) is a new venture from the Washington, DC-based National Association of Ticket Brokers, a lobbying group on behalf of ticket resellers and representatives of the secondary ticket market. (We’ll have more information on NATB later this week.)
The aim of this website is to “inform ticket holders and resellers of their rights, raise awareness of unfair practices underway by large and powerful players in the system, and to advocate for an open and competitive secondary resale market free of unfair and harmful restrictions. ”
Some primary ticket sellers or venues (think Ticketmaster or the big city arena where major concerts play) have limitations or restrictions on the number of tickets made available when a show is first announced, or enact strict rules for reselling a ticket you can’t use. NATB wants to give more power to fans to open the gates for a more fair and equitable reseller market for buyers and sellers alike, all while ensuring customers get what they’re paying for.
“We believe the best interest of fans and their access to an open resale market where they can buy and sell freely should absolutely come first. Unfortunately because of what’s going on with some teams, ticket issuers, venues, and others, that’s not always the case,” says Gary Adler, Executive Director of
NATB, in a statement released this morning announcing the website. “Simply put, market manipulation by ticket issuers and others in the powerful and controlling primary market harms consumers. This is the fundamental issue Protect Ticket Rights will be working to address.”
Among the particular offenses NATB hopes to address: Removing or relaxing restrictions on how tickets that can’t be used by the originally purchaser can be resold; the cancellation, or threatened cancellation, of contracts for season ticket holders to sporting events if tickets are resold in any way other than the team’s designated platform; the use of bots for buying tickets; and the common yet undiscussed practice of only putting a small portion of available tickets to a given event up for sale at the outset.
“Reports indicate that only 46% of tickets become available when tickets go on sale, leaving less than half to meet demand—which is the reason events sell out too quickly and lead to frustration over supply and market price,” NATB says.
These misleading practices are harmful to the industry and unsettling for consumers and fans, Adler says. “Open markets with lots of competition are good for consumers in every industry including live event tickets.”
Read here for more information.