Last Friday, the North Carolina State Legislature passed a new bill which would allow the legal scalping of tickets in North Carolina, effective August 1st, 2008. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the Governor but will need to be renewed again next year in order to stay on the books.
The current law made it illegal to resell tickets for more than $3.00 over their face value. While that mandate was outdated and almost impossible to enforce online, it did help to keep a lid on the prices of tickets resold locally. That will soon change with the stroke of the Governor’s pen.
The Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina Panthers, and the major colleges in the area supported the bill, claiming that it would somehow help curtail the sale of counterfeit tickets. But it seems to me that counterfeiters will still exist, they will just be savvier and will sell for higher prices now.
The way that I see it, if the ticket resellers are legally allowed to sell their tickets for higher prices, they will want to buy even more tickets from the Hurricanes, or other teams.
This is also a huge victory for Ticketmaster because when compared to most ticket brokers, their absurd handling and shipping fees suddenly don’t seem so unreasonable.
Ticketmaster was probably behind this whole thing. (I love a good conspiracy theory.)
Admittedly, out of state ticket brokers have been selling overpriced tickets online for quite some time now. One benefit of the new law would be to level the playing field for in-state brokers, who now can compete with their rivals.
But what many fans fear is that these brokers and scalpers will stand in line or pay others to stand in line, so that they can hoard all the best seats for special events.
After they capture the bulk of the tickets, the brokers can dictate whatever prices they want to. The average fan that can’t stand in line at 10 a.m. because they are working, or who doesn’t have 50 to 100 computers at their disposal to lock in tickets online when they go on sale, ends up getting priced out of the event.
I can see some good and some bad in this bill. Look at it this way, at least the resale value of season tickets just went up, especially for the playoffs.