Maryland tickets bill hearings begin

Lawmakers in the US state of Maryland have commenced legislative hearings over new laws that could restrict the reselling of tickets.

State Sen. Brian Feldman, the sponsor of the bill, wants to limit restrictions that primary vendors such as Ticketmaster can place on the reselling of tickets. Supporters claim the tickets are the property of the purchaser, and they should be able to do with them as they wish.

Under current law, primary ticket sellers can impose restrictions on how tickets may be transferred. Opponents of the new bill believe that it will boost the secondary market and create further scalping of tickets. The state’s Baltimore Ravens NFL team, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Royal Farms Arena oppose the bill, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

Proponents from both major political parties have been trying to enact legislation to lift restrictions on ticket resales for several years. Maryland lawmakers who favour the change believe they have new momentum because the Virginia General Assembly passed a similar bill this year.

Hearings relating to the bill began on March 1.

Bill Frick, House Majority Leader, said he agreed to sponsor the House version of the bill after being approached by the Maryland Consumer Rights Center.

“Technology is changing the ticket and event experience, and it can either change it to empower consumers or restrict rights most of us take for granted,” he said.