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New ticket reform bill could stop you from getting tickets outside of the primary seller

DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- Across the country, lawmakers are trying to pass ticketing reform bills.

A new reform bill has already passed through the Colorado Senate, and it's branded as one that would crack down on ticket sellers.

Senate Bill 23-060, is dubbed "Consumer Protection in Event Ticketing Sales".

But an opponent of the bill warns, don't be fooled by the title.

If Senate Bill 23-060 passes, primary ticket sellers like Ticketmaster, could stop consumers from buying tickets somewhere else.

Many of the reform bills come in the wake of the Taylor Swift tour debacle, where fans struggled to get tickets, and then they ended up on resale websites for higher prices.

The bill looks to crack down on deceitful ticket practices from third-party vendors, like the scalpers who bilked Swift's fans.

But in doing so, it will also grant more power to primary sources like Ticketmaster, or AXS, allowing them to control more of the market. 

"It's not a consumer protection bill. It is an industry bill disguised as it," Brian Hess says. Hess works with Sports Fans Coalition, a non-profit that claims to protect buyers by fostering more competition between ticket sellers.

"I have never in my career seen a bill entitled consumer protection, not have a single consumer protection organization endorse it," he adds.

To understand the problem, Hess says to look no further than who is lobbying for it.

Turns out, it's Live Nation, the owner of Ticketmaster, AEG, AXS, and Kroenke Sports Group, who owns Ball Arena.

"It only regulates one side of the market," Hess says, adding that it does nothing to crack down on bots who snatch up tickets too.

Hess is lobbying against the bill with companies like StubHub and SeatGeek, where individuals can resell and buy their tickets.

Hess believes that the lawmakers supporting the bill aren't seeing the total picture.

"They want to control every ticket that is sold and every ticket that is resold. They don't believe in competition."

KRDO reached out to the sponsors of the bills, which are both Democrats and Republicans, but did not hear back, after multiple requests.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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