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Minnesota bill would boost consumer protections for ticket buyers

Bill aims to boost customer protections on ticket sales
Bill aims to boost customer protections on ticket sales 01:56

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A bill that advanced in the Minnesota Legislature Tuesday aims to boost consumer protections for music and sports fans by setting new rules for companies that sell tickets.

It requires retailers like Ticketmaster and StubHub to give price transparency, showing the total cost up front, including all fees, up front—not in the few minutes customers must make a purchase before losing their spot in line.

Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, said she brought forward the legislation after struggling to get tickets to the Taylor Swift Eras Tour in late 2022. Skyrocketing demand overwhelmed Ticketmaster, which left fans waiting for hours to get tickets if they could get any at all. Many were being sold on secondary websites for exorbitant prices.

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"Whether you're a Taylor Swift fan or not, or there's another artist you really want to see, or a sporting event like Caitlin Clark coming to play the [Minnesota] Gophers next week—regardless of what kinds of tickets you're trying to get, you as a consumer in all of Minnesota consumers deserve transparency and that process and fairness in that process," said Moller.

The measure is the latest to get tough on ticket sellers for their practices. The Ticketmaster fiasco prompted Congressional probes and policy proposals in states across the country to prevent a similar situation from happening again, albeit with limited success.

Moller's bill also bans "speculative ticketing" or resellers posting tickets for sale even though they aren't available yet. And re-sellers can't sell more than one copy of a ticket.  

She said she worked with stakeholders after last session—when the proposal was first introduced—during the interim, including venues, sports teams and the ticket industry, too. Some provisions mirror legislation in Nevada and New York, she told the panel.  

If passed, it would take effect July 1, impacting ticket sales on or after that date. The legislation also would require a reseller to clearly post its refund policy for any cancellation or postponement of the event, and provide proof of purchase within 24 hours.

Lawmakers during Tuesday's hearing at the state capitol made many references to Swift's songs and lyrics. The bill number assigned to it is House File 1989—a nod to Swift's multi-platinum album from ten years ago that Moller insists wasn't intentional, rather a welcome coincidence.

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