Event ticket price-gouging ban denied entry in Florida
Image via AP.

Ticketmaster No Exchanges AP
The legislation died without a vote.

Legislation to tamp down on soaring event ticket prices in Florida stalled again this year, despite ample public outcry in and outside the Sunshine State.

Twin bills (SB 204, HB 177) meant to address the issue hit snags almost as soon as their Republican sponsors filed them. Pensacola Republican Rep. Alex Andrade told Florida Politics his measure died without a hearing because House Commerce Committee Chair Bob Rommel wasn’t a fan.

“(He) just didn’t like it,” Andrade said, adding that he “likely would bring it back” after voters re-elect him in November.

The Senate bill, meanwhile, received a hearing in December. But seeing insufficient support from the chamber’s Commerce and Tourism Committee, Lake Mary GOP Sen. Jason Brodeur postponed a vote on it — after unveiling a strike-all amendment to make the measure apply only to venues that take taxpayer dollars and another proposed change limiting the bill’s scope to venues with 3,000 seats or more.

He never brought the bill back for consideration.

If passed, the legislation would have established as state policy that sole-source contracts for live event ticket sales “violate public policy and harm the public good.”

Accordingly, the measure would have prohibited live venues from selling tickets to their events through just one company or site. The venues would have to allow performance artists to market, sell or distribute tickets to their event through a ticket platform of their choice.

Notably, the measure would also have banned venues from selling or transferring tickets at prices higher than the originally listed ticket cost.

While arguing for his bill late last year, Brodeur said the goal is to break the stronghold Ticketmaster has over the ticket industry. A November 2022 Yale University determined the company controls more than 70% of the ticketing and live event market, including 80% of live concerts.

He cited recent examples like $4,000 tickets to see Taylor Swift$5,000 tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and Bad Bunny tickets that have shot up 35% since 2019 to four-figure sums.

He also pointed to a joint lawsuit in 19 states, including Florida, filed in 2010 to prevent the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation. A 2019 investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) also found Ticketmaster/Live Nation violated the rules of an agreement to prevent them from further becoming monopolistic. The DOJ opened another investigation into the matter three years later.

Other states have also considered measures similar to Brodeur and Andrade’s, including California, Illinois, New York and Tennessee. Sen. Jennifer Bradley of Fleming Island and Rep. Fiona McFarland of Sarasota, both Republicans, unsuccessfully carried similar bills last year.

Brodeur said it is time to “fundamentally disrupt” how tickets are sold in the United States.

“The once simple experience of wanting to buy a concert ticket and go, or maybe give your ticket to your friend, has become so complicated by the monopoly that is dominating that really at every level (that it) ultimately hurts the consumer,” he said. “This is not a partisan issue.”

But while the bill received support from residents, the Florida Entertainment and Arts Venues Association, New York Yankees and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) said the proposal was an overreach and unneeded.

David Touhey, a former manager of the James L. Knight Center and Wasco Center in Miami who now represents the IAVM, said many performance artists are enacting policies to counteract ticket price-gouging. He did not explain why such an approach hadn’t happened sooner.

Firms representing Ticketmaster, AXS, StubHub and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater lobbied lawmakers on the legislation this Session.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Hung Wiil

    February 28, 2024 at 5:38 pm

    Glad this stupid bill died. Its time for the Republicans to remove thy head from thy arse and rediscover conservatism which is limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. What’s next, Andrade wants mandatory motorcycle helmets. Good grief.

    • Federal Prison Florida SuperMax

      February 28, 2024 at 7:07 pm

      Spoken like a true criminal; you’re a trafficker in something and shitting your pants…

      • Hung Wiil

        February 28, 2024 at 8:32 pm

        Below me.

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 29, 2024 at 7:34 am

      I’m with you, Hung Woo. If people don’t want to pay the sales price for an event ticket, they don’t have to. Just don’t go. Let the market sort it out.

      Now once you have an event ticket, especially at $4000 a seat (via onlines scalpers; Floor tickets for Taylor Swift cost their initial purchasers about $250 each, but you could pay more, up to like $550, to get in early and get a t-shirt and backstage tour our something or other) you are going.

      Because you ARE going, parking lots, Lyft, Uber and taxis are the ones who gouge you beyond your control, given the US public transportation system of “roads; go buy your own car and figure it out”

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 9:16 am

    People are saying the legislation died without a vote because competing ticket handling company lobbyists didn’t cough up enough this year to satisfy G0P politicians demands

  • MusicFanYesIAm

    February 29, 2024 at 2:43 pm

    We all understand music artists must make a living – and they, after paying all their support (agents, tour managers, band/accompanying musicians, venues, A/V and set riggers, tour staff, marketing-merch/promotion/booking, etc.) take home just a fraction of concert ticket sales – yet how much is enough? Many years ago, country artist Garth Brooks took a stand and sold seats at $20 (per seat) – regardless of location (in a venue). Where is that same fortitude today? Even $100 or less (including fees) for decent, relatively close floor seats would be a help. Fans (like me) appreciate having the opportunity to see and enjoy those musicians we love up close and personal – yet don’t believe we should have to mortgage our homes (I never would do that, yet you get my gist) to achieve that end. Again, I say – how much is enough???? $$$$

Comments are closed.


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