Bill targets restricted-ticket sales, aims to help ticket-holders


A state Assemblyman says concert and sports fans should have the right to do what they want with their tickets. He's introduced a bill to crack down on the restricted ticket policies used by sellers.

Are you catching the latest Rolling Stones concert? Maybe Pink is more up your alley. For Steve Barrilleaux, his splurge is sports: NBA season tickets.

"If I pay the money for the ticket, they're my tickets, and I can use them however I choose, and I can give them to whoever I want to. I can use them. I can not use them," said Barrilleaux. "They're mine."

But when fans buy "paperless" or "will-call-only" tickets, it's tough to sell them. Consumers have to show ID at the event or the same credit card used to purchase the tickets, which will not match the new buyer.

Sometimes pro sports teams will require fans to re-sell tickets on the teams' website. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim began that practice this season.

"We want to be sure that when you buy a ticket, it's your ticket," said state Assemblyman Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).

Pan just introduced a bill that would protect the rights of ticket-holders. His measure would ban restricted tickets by giving owners the right to re-sell, donate or give them away.

"For most people, it's really about: You can't make it at the last minute, you want to give it to a family member or friend," said Pan.

Ticketmaster hasn't seen Pan's proposal, but generally opposes any easing of restrictions. The company says it's not ticket-sellers dictating the policy. The teams or performers themselves determine what form the tickets are sold. They typically want to keep prices down for their fans.

"They select paperless tickets or will-call-only tickets as a method to reduce 'scalping,' and those methods are proven to reduce scalping between 75 and 100 percent," said Jacqueline Peterson, a Ticketmaster spokesperson.

Steve Barrilleaux can't believe that sometimes his hands are tied when he can't use his tickets.

"I think there's really a fundamental concept there, and that is: I bought the ticket. Is it really my ticket?" said Barrilleaux.

Ticketmaster says if you think there's a chance you won't make the event, you can always buy an actual paper ticket, which will give you more freedom.

Pan's measure will get its first hearing in a couple of weeks.

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