Ticket Prices: Will New Federal Laws Help Cut Them?

great tickets like this one are often expensive. New federal legislation aims to make ticket prices more affordable, but will it?

Congress introduced new legislation in December to deal with the really nasty parts of the resale ticket industry. The question remains: If this becomes law, will ticket prices come down? The answer is sadly: No. Most ticket brokers will find ways to work around or simply won’t be affected by the new law. The good news though; the all in price for tickets will become much easier to see before you purchase the ticket.

What’s Ticket Prices Legislation You’re Talking About?

Two bills: the TICKET Act and the Fans First Act were introduced in the US House and Senate in late 2023 as a way to “promote fairness in the sale of event tickets.” The bills limit speculative ticket selling (selling tickets you don’t have), improve the ability of the Federal government to prosecute people who buy tickets using bots, and create requirements to display all in prices for tickets.

What Good Will This Do?

These bills, if they become law, make it easier to know the “all in” ticket price before you’re at the purchase page. Lots of ticket resellers and even Ticketmaster don’t display the final “all in” price until you’re ready to buy. Fees add 25-40% to the final price. Some argue it’s deceptive to not display all fees until you’re ready to purchase. (We’ll give a shout out to TickPick, a reseller who displays all in prices for every single ticket). We talk about fees more in a different post (Junk Fees: Why Are They Still A Thing?)

What’s the Bad News on Ticket Prices?

This legislation likely does nothing to reduce ticket costs. Yes, it increases the federal government’s ability to prosecute ticket brokers who use bots. However, the federal government’s track record for prosecution does not impress. They have pressed charges against ticket brokers using bots less than five times in the last five years. We doubt these bills will change their appetite to go after ticket brokers who use bots.

How Can We Make This Better?

We like Ticketmaster’s suggestion to change laws and allow private parties, like Ticketmaster, to sue ticket brokers for using bots. They made this suggestion after the Taylor Swift ticketing disaster and it makes a lot of sense. Ticketmaster has the time, money and financial interest to stop tickets from being gobbled up by ticket brokers’ bots. Reducing the total volume of bot purchased tickets means fans can stop overpaying for overbought resale tickets and we think that’s good.