A bill requiring ticket sellers to offer transferable tickets to concerts, festivals and sports games passed its first committee Monday.
SB 1316, which requires any person or entity who offers nontransferable tickets for sale to also offer the ticket in a transferable format, passed the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee unanimously.
The bill would require a way for transferable tickets to be given to other people or sold on any third-party platform. Multiday tickets or passes, like annual passes to Walt Disney World and season tickets to sports teams, would be exempt from the law, to prevent days from being divided among many people.
Sen. Ed Hooper, the bill’s sponsor, said he aims to limit the restrictions on consumer choice and monopolization with the legislation. He said sellers can currently sell non-transferable tickets that require those tickets only be transferred on their private channels, banning transfers between individuals and sales to third-party companies like StubHub.
“If I go buy a ticket to the Tampa Bay Rays, technically I’m not able to go hand that ticket to a young boy who has never seen a baseball game, because that’s technically not my ticket,” Hooper said.
While the bill was passed, legislators from both parties who supported it voiced concerns that it could lead to price spikes in resale tickets.
Sens. Travis Hudson, Jason Pizzo and Annette Taddeo said they were concerned companies like StubHub would be able to buy up tickets in bulk and increase their prices. They all asked Hooper to explore amendments to the bill to curb ticket increases while the bill goes through committee.
Laura Dooley, StubHub’s head of government relations, and several other company reps and lobbyists spoke during public comment in favor of the bill.
She said what currently exists is a resale monopoly largely controlled by Ticketmaster, which owns about 80% of tickets in the United States. She said Ticketmaster already has its own resale arm for its tickets, but can place limits on how their tickets are resold in Florida, keeping it within their company only. To StubHub, requiring transferable tickets would help break Ticketmaster’s monopoly on resale.
“The debate isn’t whether resale is good or bad,” she said. “The debate is who controls resale?”
Right before the vote, Hooper joked about how the bill attracted attention from various lobbying groups and companies.
“I am thankful I was able to secure a nice fee for every lobbyist in the city of Tallahassee,” he said. “It’s very complicated, we are in the middle of a tug-of-war with some giants.”
The bill’s next stop is the Senate Judiciary Committee.