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Indiana venues oppose new ‘non-transfer’ tickets bill

Arena operators in the US state of Indiana have spoken out against a bill designed to protect a consumer’s right to resell event tickets.

Rep. Martin Carbaugh’s House Bill 1331 would ban non-transferable tickets for concerts and other entertainment events.

The legislation would protect an individual’s right to sell or give his or her ticket to an event to someone else. However, an amendment added to the bill means it would not apply to tickets for sporting events due to opposition from local teams, with the state being home to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, NBA’s Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis 500 motorsport race.

“You bought the ticket, and that’s your property that you should be allowed to transfer,” said Rep. Carbaugh.

The bill has been referred to Indiana’s Committee on Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development. In a hearing last week operators for the some of the largest venues in Indianapolis, including Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, spoke against the bill. They said they need to have the non-transferable option available, otherwise they may not be able to attract some artists.

Tom Mendenhall, senior vice president of Live Nation Entertainment, told committee members that ticket rules and conditions should be defined by venues and artists rather than by the consumer’s wishes. He also added that it is important to retain a link between ticket holder and venue so that dialogue – such as messages about postponements – can be maintained.

“We use data to improve our customer experience,” he said. “We have been able to improve our service because we know who our customers are.

“There are bad actors in the ticket broker space. They profit from our investment in the live event sector. Legislative restrictions would hinder our ability to be innovative. It would be an enormous setback.”

Image: Josh Hallett