ALBANY — In the wake of a report showing the difficulties for average fans to buy concert and sports tickets at face value, two state senators are calling for a legislative hearing into the matter.
Sens. Daniel Squadron and Brad Hoylman, both Manhattan Democrats, fired off a letter to Sen. Andrew Lanza, the Staten Island Republican who chairs the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, calling for an oversight hearing to “ensure that the Legislature does not again blindly renew a law that benefits very few at the cost of so many.”
The state’s ticket-selling laws are set to expire May 14.
New York State scrapped its anti-ticket scalping laws in 2007 and allowed tickets to be resold at whatever prices the market would support.
A recent investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found 54% of all tickets to hot concerts are set aside for industry insiders or presale customers before they are offered to the general public and that brokers looking to offer tickets way above face value often illegally deploy “bot” software that allows them to buy thousands within seconds of their going on sale.
In calling for the hearing, Squadron and Hoylman wrote “it is clear that New York State has created a system that enriches brokers and profiteers at the expense of everyday fans. The Legislature must stand up to the special interests that have broken the market, and again allow everyday New Yorkers a fair shot at seeing events.”
Squadron has pushed legislation that would again place caps on just how much tickets can be resold for above face value, an idea Schneiderman supported in his report.
Squadron and Hoylman are also pushing legislation that would prevent profiteering on tickets for nonprofit events, especially after free tickets to see Pope Francis during his visit to New York last year were offered online for hundreds of dollars each.
Lanza did not return a call for comment about whether he intends to hold a hearing into the ticket-scalping laws.