You bought it...you own it!
It doesn’t matter the industry impacted or how long a law has been on the books. Any law that restricts our personal property rights in favor of crony capitalism should be abolished. That’s why lawmakers need to take action on House Bill 5108.
Right now, if you try to re-sell your sports or entertainment ticket above face value, you are a criminal under Michigan law. It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to unload a couple of tickets from your season ticket package or whether you can no longer go to that concert and only want to sell your tickets for face value plus “convenience fees.”
That is, unless you use a specially-designated “vendor” given a monopoly by the team or venue over all ticket resales. Companies like StubHub and Ticketmaster are milking honest fans by tacking on additional fees just for the “right” to resell a ticket that you already own and are turning around and paying a kickback to the venue for their state-protected monopoly.
House Bill 5108 will end this ridiculous law and open the secondary ticket market up to be more fair and free – everybody will have the same rights and nobody is forced to break the law or pay additional fees just to resell their own property.
The House passed the bill in the spring. And given the Republican supermajority in the Senate you would think this bill would be a slam dunk, right? Apparently not because the bill has been stuck in committee for months.
If you run into any member of the Committee on Government Operations, here are five questions you should demand answers for:
1. Why are out-of-state companies given rights that Michigan’s citizens are denied? This is a property rights issue, plain and simple. Why should Michigan residents be forced to use TicketMaster and StubHub to resell your tickets when you can walk next door to your neighbor and do the sale on your own?
2. We are free to sell our homes and other property above face value, how are sports and concert tickets any different? Last I checked, the free market is working fine for everything else. How about letting tickets work the same way?
3. What is a “real fan” and who decides? Those opposed to this bill have said they’re concerned about making sure “real fans” have access to tickets. So is someone not a “real fan” just because they are buying a ticket from a secondary seller? Or if they sell a couple season tickets to help pay for some of their ticket package? Is the state government in the business of determining who is or isn’t a real fan?
4. Why is Michigan so much more restrictive than other states? Florida, Colorado, California, New York and Ohio all have more open ticket laws than Michigan and every single one of those states hosts major concerts and has professional sports teams.
5. What’s the Senate waiting for? Crony-capitalism needs to be stopped, no matter how trivial it may seem. This is a great chance for lawmakers to right a wrong and repeal an overly restrictive law.
I hope you’ll consider supporting House Bill 5108 and urge your State Senator to do the same.
As a disclaimer, I do consulting work for Fan Freedom, which advocates and supports this deregulation issue nationally.