Ticket wars on hold in Florida

Published On: Apr 23 2013 04:07:22 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A battle between the nation's two largest ticket companies has ended for now.

Ticketmaster and StubHub were fighting in Tallahassee over bills to help their businesses, but Disney ended up the big winner.

For several years running, StubHub has pushed legislation to ban paperless tickets.

Paperless tickets are a more recent phenomenon. Some artists or sports teams require a block of tickets to be sold exclusively online and redeemed at the gate with the credit card used in the purchase.

That doesn't sit well with StubHub. It says paperless tickets keep people from gifting their tickets, auctioning them for charity or, most importantly, reselling them. They formed the Fan Freedom Coalition.

Fan Freedom came out early in session with a bill to make tickets personal property.

"If I buy a ticket, I have to show up with the credit card I bought the ticket on and my photo ID, and they are nontransferable," Fan Freedom spokesman Chris Grimm said.

Ticketmaster fired back, saying paperless tickets protect against scalpers. They pushed their own legislation to stiffen penalties for ticket fraud and force ticket brokers to register with the state.

"Brokers scoop in, they actually try to sell the tickets before I even put them on sale," said Ron Spencer, of the Leon County Civics Center.

Lawmakers decided the issue was too controversial to tackle this session. They gutted one of the bills and replaced it with language to protect theme park tickets, namely Disney.

On Tuesday, the Florida House discussed the legislation. It would create a $10,000 fine for people who sell multi-park or multi-day passes after they've been partially used.

The penalty for reselling multi-day and multi-park passes right now is $500.