E-ticket legislation goes back to commerce committeeby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A bill that would prevent teams like the Minnesota Twins from selling nontransferable electronic tickets barely stayed alive after a Senate committee hearing Wednesday.
Teams and venues, like the Target Center and Xcel Energy Center, say electronic tickets keep out-of-state scalping operations from buying tickets before individual customers get a chance to pay face value.
But others argue because they're nontransferable individual customers can't sell tickets if they can't attend a game.
Members of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee nearly killed the bill. Committee Chair Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said members held off because they hope the bill can be improved.
"I think they'd kind of like something to be done in this area, but I'm not sure really what," Limmer said. "So they're really sending it back to the commerce committee to get better definition."
The bill's author, Sen. Chris Gerlach (R-Apple Valley), said committee members are trying to figure out how to balance the interests of venues with the secondary ticket market.
"This is a brand new industry," Gerlach said. "It's only been around legally for about four years. It's going through lots of change, and the public policy is always trying to catch up with technology. And this is one of those instances that we have to put more thought into our strategies about how we're going to both protect consumers and also nurture a fair and open secondary market and also be fair to the venues and teams that are in the primary market as well."
Limmer said many issues need to be resolved, including the question of who owns a ticket -- the business that sold it or the ticketholder.