The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Repeat performance: Scalping bill returns for 2013 session

16

January

A proposal supported by online ticket seller StubHub that would make it easier to re-sell event tickets online stalled out during the legislative process when the state's performing arts and sports venues mounted an opposition campaign.

Now the so-called scalping bill  is back for the 2013 session with a new sponsor and a much more streamlined message. The 2012 legislation was backed by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, the South Florida lawmaker who lost her re-election bid this fall, and Rep. Matt Gaetz. Both bills died in committee.

The new version, HB 163, is sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto. The bill would restrict any laws or regulations that prevent a person from reselling or transferring an event ticket. Proponents are hoping to shape the argument as one about personal property rights.

"This is a simple, fan-friendly bill says Jon Potter, president of Fan Freedom, a national fan advocate organization funded and supported by StubHub. "You bought it, you own it. If your plans change and you can't make it to a concert or a game, you have the right to give away your ticket or resell it on the secondary market.

However, venue operators say the idea would make it easier for online third-party vendors to control the event sales market could lead to steeper prices and quicker sellouts. We expect to hear from venues like the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa and Miami's Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and even sports teams as they catch win that the scalping bill has returned.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:57pm]

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