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Will paperless tickets stop scalpers?

June 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Ticket brokers say they don't like Ticketmaster's new changes in ticketing. They say it is bad for their business. However, could the new paperless tickets be bad for consumers too?Miley Cyrus, along with Ticketmaster, is trying something new with her fall concert tour. There will be no tickets to her shows. Ticketmaster is trying out an experiment by selling paperless tickets.

The last time Miley Cyrus went on tour it was thought that scalpers bought up most of the tickets to her "Hannah Montana" show. So Ticketmaster decided it was time to try to stop the secondary ticket market.

Miley Cyrus will be at Staples Center on September 22 and at the Honda Center in Anaheim on September 23. Concert-goers will enter the show by using the same credit card they used to buy their tickets.

By going paperless, Ticketmaster says it will make re-selling or transferring the tickets impossible. But some ticket brokers believe it will be trouble for consumers.

"How is somebody who doesn't have a credit card going to buy a ticket? They can't. And there's a lot of people who don't have credit cards and if they want to pay cash, they can't," said Barry Rudin, Barry's Tickets. "How about if you buy four tickets and you're meeting two friends there, and you get a driving ticket, or you're sick, or you can't make it to the show. How are you going to get in?"

Barry says after 27 years in the ticket broker business, he is a bit nervous about the change. He thinks Ticketmaster may be trying to monopolize the ticket industry.

"In the concert industry I am a little bit nervous because we take risk. This is something Ticketmaster does not do, they do not take risk," said Rudin. "We buy tickets, we speculate tickets. We are a broker, you buy and sell. And if they take away that opportunity to do so -- because they take away the transferability -- then it's taking away one of our product lines."

Promoters of Miley Cyrus's fall concert tour say they will have extra staff at the shows to assist with any problems, but there is the possibility of lines, so plan on arriving earlier than usual.

Miley Cyrus is part of the Walt Disney Company family. Walt Disney is the parent company of ABC7 Eyewitness News.

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