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Tennessee Theatre manager 'disappointed' with ticket scalping bill's failure

11:31 PM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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The manager of a top Knoxville entertainment venue is frustrated that a proposal aimed at ticket scalpers will not become law this year.

The "Fairness in Ticketing Act" was placed off-notice by it's co-sponsor, Knoxville Representative Ryan Haynes, on Wednesday. He said there despite several state venues showing support for the bill, including Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, it did not have the same in the House Business and Utilities Committee.

"It's upsetting to see what people pay, double or triple for ticket prices and there's no recourse for them," said Tennessee Theatre general manager Tom Bugg, who has been a vocal supporter of the measure for months.

He says every show in recent years at the famed theater have seen problems from customers who bought tickets from third-parties. He said people have lost admission because of accidental duplicate tickets.

"Tennessee, if that bill would've passed, would've been the first state in the country to do something about this. If one state does it, then the dominoes would start to fall," Bugg added.

The bill would have forced ticket brokers to register with the state, and disclose the original price of the ticket and its seat number, among other rules.

"It does three things if it passed. It protects fans and consumers, it protects artists, and it protects venues," said Rep. Haynes.

However, despite opposition from online group "the Fan Freedom Project," that said the bill violated consumer rights, the sponsor said that was not the case. He added that the bill will be reintroduced next year.

"And we're going to regroup our message and make sure some of our Tea Party friends recognize that no way does this inhibit our property rights," the lawmaker said.

A similar State Senate bill is currently on the floor with no word on when it will be discussed.

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