While the Internet has revolutionized the ways fans access and purchase tickets, it has also made ticket reselling a big-time business, at times creating an unfair situation for fans looking for face-value tickets and seat availability.
We believe fans deserve a good event experience, from ticket purchase through the final encore of the show or the last seconds off the clock at their favorite game. This begins by changing and improving the ticket-purchase experience for fans by providing them with greater access to face-value tickets and enhanced protection against fraudulent business practices. We are standing up for fans so that they can continue to stand with the artists, venues, and sports teams they love.
Ticketing, on both the primary and resale markets, should always have the fans’ best interests at heart. That’s why artists, teams, venues and a host of others are working together to make five common sense changes to how tickets are purchased, marketed and sold.
The Fans First Coalition is committed to:
- Ensuring Fair Access to Face-Value Tickets: Online, it is nearly impossible to distinguish between a fan and a scalper. Scalpers, while not representative of the majority of ticket buyers, routinely attempt to purchase as many of the best seats as possible the second they go on sale (often using bot software) for the sole purpose of reselling them to make a profit. Fans deserve better. Artists, promoters, sports teams and/or venues determine how their tickets are sold, because they have taken the creative and financial risk to put on an event. They should be able to choose ticketing methods that help fans access face-value tickets. Artists, promoters, sports teams and venues should be able to limit scalpers’ ability to purchase large quantities of tickets with the express intent of reselling them and profiting from their sale.
- Ending Deceptive Marketing Practices/Misuse of Artists’ and Venues’ Intellectual Property: Fans who innocently search for tickets online are routinely misled into purchasing tickets from websites that masquerade as being affiliated with artists, teams or venues. These phony, non-sanctioned sites trick fans into believing that they are buying tickets directly from the artist or venue rather than the resellers who operate them.Fans should not be tricked into buying tickets from resale marketplaces that are unfairly capitalizing on artist, league or team intellectual property such as their names, logos or other information.
- Full Disclosure: Ticket brokers and resellers certainly play a role in redistributing tickets to the public after the initial on-sale. Many ticket resellers, however, do not inform fans that the websites they are shopping on are resale sites, and that prices often exceed face value. Fans should be able to purchase tickets for the events that they want to attend, either on the primary market or through fan-friendly resale. When doing so, fans deserve to know whether they are purchasing tickets at face value from the primary market, such as directly from the box office, or if they are purchasing tickets on the resale market, where they may be priced above face value.
- Clear Pricing Display: Too often, fans aren’t aware of the true cost of their tickets until after they have made a purchase. That isn’t right. Fans should know exactly how much they are going to pay before completing their purchase. Service fees should be clearly detailed so fans understand, and agree to, the true and full cost of their tickets.
- Complete Disclosure About Speculative Ticketing: Many resale marketplaces and companies sell tickets they do not have in-hand, and do not disclose this fact to the ticket buyer. Fans are often unaware that the tickets they purchased are speculative in nature, and they may get left holding the bag — and therefore unable to see a game, concert or show — if the ticket seller cannot fulfill speculative orders, even after paying for their tickets. Fans deserve to know if the tickets they are buying are in-hand with the seller, if the tickets will ship by a certain date (i.e., season tickets), or if the tickets are speculative in nature (i.e., Section Seating).