Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who is well-known and popular with many conservatives, is apparently at odds with his state’s own government after the Louisiana House of Representatives began weighing stopping original ticket sellers from using a “nontransferable” ticket system for large venue events such as concerts, shows, etc.
H.B. 341, which made its way from the House to the Senate chamber last month, would ban large ticket companies like Ticketmaster from forcing its purchasers’ to not exchange tickets with others, whether it be via a sale or any other type of transfer.
The bill states that it is creating a prohibition for “certain nontransferable ticketing; reselling tickets for entertainment and sporting events.”
It defines “nontransferable ticketing” as not allowing a ticker holder to give away, resell, or otherwise exchange a ticket.
Based on remarks he made several months back, Kennedy is staunchly opposed to such legislation. The Louisiana Senator has previously suggested that in order to combat massively high ticket prices, a rule banning ticket transfers or only allowing them at face value should be considered.
In Kennedy’s eyes, allowing tickets to not switch hands at all or only at the original price would throw a wrench in the plans of ticket scalpers, many of whom use bots in order to purchase massive quantities in one go.
A Taylor Swift concert last year had tickets going as high as $25,000 each, according to RedState.
“I’m not against big … I’m against dumb,” Kennedy said when commenting on the Swift fiasco. “The way your company handled the ticket sales for Ms. Swift was a debacle … and whoever … was in charge of that ought to be fired.”
Sen. John Kennedy: "I'm not against big…I'm against dumb. The way your company handled the ticket sales for Ms. Swift was a debacle…and whoever…was in charge of that ought to be fired." pic.twitter.com/p2GGtHRPVJ
— TweeThePeople (@TweePerson) January 25, 2023
In related news, federal legislation is also being looked at surrounding venue tickets. Currently, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-NY) are sponsoring a bill that according to Billboard will address the practices of large venues such as Ticketmaster, which use long-term contracts to maintain the exclusive ticketing rights over U.S. venues and festivals.
Billboard noted that despite the stated intentions of Klobuchar and Blumenthal, such an initiative may very well increase prices for consumers as ticket companies may slap extra fees on tickets in order to make up for any lost revenues accrued due to shorter contract lengths.
Around the same time, a competing bill was introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that hopes to “ban hidden ticket fees” once and for all.