COLUMBIA - Ticket-scalping, within limits, could become legal under a bill passed by the House last week that was sponsored by all seven of Horry County's House members.
Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach, said the reason the Horry County delegation got involved in the issue is because he was asked to by representatives of some entertainment and athletic venues in the state.
He said they thought that because the Myrtle Beach area has so many such venues, such as the House of Blues and The Alabama Theatre, that he would help. Clemmons said the delegation was willing.
Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Myrtle Beach, introduced the same bill in the Senate, but it has not been acted on. The Senate could use the House bill.
Scalping is illegal in South Carolina and so is buying scalped tickets. Anyone who wants to resell a ticket to an entertainment or sporting event can charge no more than a dollar more than face value.
Yet the tickets, including counterfeit tickets, are being sold on eBay and similar outlets, Clemmons said. If the ticket is fake or isn't the seat the buyer thought he or she was getting, the venue gets the blame.
The bill allows the venues to authorize resale of unusued tickets.
That way the theaters and arenas know which tickets are available and that they are real, and so do the customers.
The venues can collect a 20 percent service charge on the resales.
"It takes the fraud out of the system," Clemmons said.
About half the states have adopted a similar system, he said.
The measure passed in the House on a voice vote, but not before a brief, sharp exchange with one member.
"I used to do this for a living before it became illegal," said Rep. Skipper Perry, R-Aiken. He said one group should not be allowed to scalp tickets if others can't.
"Why are we giving a special privilege to people who have already made that money off the ticket?" Perry asked Clemmons during the debate. More>>>
Cuba Gooding Sr.
& the Main Ingredient
And Guest Host Jimmie "JJ" Walker
CALEXICO's influences have traditionally come from sources as diverse as Portuguese Fado, 50's jazz, Gypsy or Romany music and its offshoots, 60's surf and twang, from Link Wray to Duane Eddy, to the spaghetti western epics of Ennio Morricone, but on their new record Garden Ruin, they were heading somewhere else, filling those dusty, empty landscapes they've long documented with a big, big sound.
LOS LONELY BOYS
TALLAHASSEE -- Scalp tickets outside a Florida venue or online, and you're probably breaking the law.
Since 1945, Florida has banned the resale of sports or entertainment tickets for more than $1 over face value, though the rule is rarely enforced.
Now, legislators want to legalize the "victimless" crime to keep ordinary Floridians from becoming criminals.
"It's just a fairness issue, a consumer issue," said state Sen. Mike Bennett, who is sponsoring the Senate bill. "It's free-market enterprise at its best."
In reality, the push for legal scalping is as much about big business as it is about individual concertgoers and sports fans. Companies like Ticketmaster and StubHub are pushing the bill, hoping to cash in on Florida's portion of a $10 billion U.S. secondary ticket market.
StubHub is a San Franciscobased online ticket outfit that matches buyers with sellers for a fee of about 10 percent.
And Ticketmaster is pushing the legislation so it can introduce a program in Florida that allows fans to sell tickets through them above face value, for a fee.
The House approved the legislation Tuesday, and the Senate could take it up this week. If approved, Florida would join 34 other states that allow some form of ticket scalping.
These days, fewer tickets are scalped person-to-person. Most are exchanged online. And the exchanges carry risk that the ticket may not be real.
Ticketmaster's program would protect consumers and remove the risk of buying tickets above face value, said Kerry Samovar, the company's senior vice president of policy.
For example, the company would partner with sports teams to set up sites where fans could sell to other fans. The person selling would enter the bar code from their ticket, then Ticketmaster would cancel that ticket and issue a new one, with a new bar code, to the buyer.
The team or concert promoter would take a cut of the price, along with Ticketmaster.
"If the law is changed, the legal channel would be provided by Ticketmaster," Samovar said. "You only know the ticket you're buying will work if you get it from the event or the event's authorized ticketing company."
The new law would require Internet sales sites to offer refunds if a ticket doesn't work or an event is canceled.
Sites like StubHub already offer Florida tickets for sale, with the disclaimer that they only connect buyers with sellers. They hope legalized scalping will send more business their way.
That could result in higher ticket prices and less opportunity for average fans to get seats, said Lionel Dubay, president of the Florida Facility Managers Association.
"From a consumer standpoint, I don't see where the benefit would be," he said. "People in the ticket resale business will obtain as many of the best seats as possible."
But Rep. John Stargel, R-Lakeland, the bill's sponsor in the House, said the bill addresses those concerns. It sets up a Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act violation for anyone who knowingly buys more tickets than allowed by caps that ensure average fans have a chance to buy tickets. Samovar, of Ticketmaster, is convinced prices will drop if the bill succeeds.
"This bill will not change the amount of tickets that are resold," he said. "This bill will allow some of that money to go back into the venues, back into the teams." Source>>>
USC alumnus Ryan Wilson took the Trojan concept of "depth with breadth" seriously.
Although he graduated with a degree in fine arts, Wilson and his former teacher Brian Olson came up with a business idea that didn't remotely involve sculpture, painting or the like.
The two decided to sell tickets.
This idea blossomed into www.stubstub.com, a Web site dedicated to providing all kinds of tickets, specializing in the hard-to-find variety. The site sells tickets to just about anything one can imagine, ranging from movies to planes and athletic events.
The junction seems like an odd collaboration for a fine arts student and teacher, but Olson and Wilson worked to provoke a creative epiphany to get a business idea that would help them not fall into the "starving artist" category.
After numerous student-teacher meetings, Wilson and Olson developed a friendly relationship, in part because of the nature of the questions fine arts teachers are inclined to ask their students.
"In the art field, we ask about our students' lives and try to help them incorporate that into their work," USC fine arts adjunct professor Olson said.
Olson's probing questions give him an insight to students' lives, as well as giving them an insight into his; Wilson learned that Olson had a side job as a creator of Internet-based communities, forums for users who share a common interest to go and accomplish that. With this in mind, Wilson figured that the two could harness their creative energies and think of a Web-based business.
"We had always jokingly talked about Web sites in the past, and since finishing school, my gears sort of shifted," Wilson said. "I knew he'd be a good source for input and ideas."
With their thinking caps securely in place, Olson and Wilson began volleying around ideas. Olson, who, aside from his job at USC, does Internet-based work, creating online forums for interested parties, told Wilson that he was asked by a company to create an Internet venue for ticket sales. More>>>