EDITORIAL: Quick action needed on ticket reform

Sawyer Fredericks performs at the first evening of the Freedom Park Summer Concert Series in Scotia on June 21, 2017. (Gazette file photo)
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Sawyer Fredericks performs at the first evening of the Freedom Park Summer Concert Series in Scotia on June 21, 2017. (Gazette file photo)

The covid restrictions are falling away, there’s music in the air — or at least in your head — and many New Yorkers are ready for the return of live entertainment.

But then reality sets in as they endure the stress and cost of purchasing tickets online, being cut off while trying to make a purchase, losing a bid, being locked out of a venue even though the event isn’t sold out and paying the exorbitant fees and charges that companies tack on to the price of every ticket.

It’s enough to make you want to turn on the radio and stay in the backyard for another summer.

New York’s patchwork mess of ticket regulations favors the ticket sellers over the fans. And when the state’s regulations expire on July 1, it’s likely the status quo will extended unless state lawmakers act quickly.

State Sen. James Skoufis has studied New York’s practices relating to tickets to live events for the past year and has proposed a number of reforms that will shift the pendulum back toward consumers and away from the promoters and entertainment conglomerates.

“(The) Ticketmasters of the world want to perpetuate a system that allows them to continue fleecing hardworking New Yorkers,” said Skoufis, chair of the state Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee. It’s time, he said, “to put an end to the outright thievery that consumers face on a daily basis.”

Among the provisions in Skoufis’ bill (S6716) include a prohibition against resale platforms allowing unlicensed brokers to sell tickets on their sites; extending refund requirements for postponed events; mandatory reporting of bot activity; disclosure of a ticket’s face value upon resale; a ban on speculative ticket sales; and a mandate for “all-in pricing,” which makes the first price consumers see include the total amount of fees to avoid costly surprises.

In addition, the bill would cap “holdbacks” of tickets for any event at 10% so more tickets are available, crack down on manipulative pricing schemes like Ticketmaster’s “Platinum Seats,” ban the resale of free tickets and prohibit “exclusivity clauses” in primary ticketing contracts that help drive up prices.

Both Consumer Reports and the National Consumers League have endorsed the legislation, calling it “long overdue.”

The bill needs an Assembly sponsor, and if it’s going to get passed before July 1, lawmakers need to get on it before the legislative session ends on June 10.

This is important consumer legislation that’s arriving just when old legislation is set to expire and when New Yorkers will want to be flocking back to live events.

A fast-turnaround to get this legislation passed will be a challenge, but it will be worth it.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

2 Comments

David Bianchi

Yakcracker
May 14th, 2021
Gee how surprising. A government entity abusing citizens and costing them huge amounts of money. I can’t believe in the state of NY such things could happen! I wonder who the owners of that building crossed? This state is sickening, the corruption is beyond belief in every facet of government. I guarantee you someone in the circle of cronies made a dumptruck load of cash from screwing these people. Oh well, American Government business as usual. Nothing to see here.

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David Bianchi
May 14th, 2021
(If Only I could Some How Afford/Proper Representation, Justice..) Class Action, Maybe??

There is Also the Problem of One’s that Get Elected to Higher Office in which they think, They Are Above The Law!
Having the Legal Bullying Powers of Doing As They Wish! I Wouldn’t Have Believed It Without Witnessing It First Hand!
Therefore, I Will Repeat Again..
Corruption in Schenectady? No Way!
Barrett Village, Eminent Domain! On Vacant Lots with No Buildings on them with the Mayor Calling Them Blight! (In which I kept the Vacant Lots Clean and mowed..)
Along with Taxes Payed in Full on the Vacant Lots Illegally Ordered Sent Back!
In Which the City Couldn’t Foreclose on for Unpaid Taxes!
All, After Initial Threats by City Lawyers To Sell the Property Cheap! or They Will Just Go Through the City and Take it!
For a Row of (15) Town Houses Selling for $260,000.00 each!
Schenectady Gate!!
Lord, Please, That’s All I ask is Let Me Have My Day in Court to Expose These Bunch of Corrupt Politicians that Run this City!!
I Understand that Chalking Up or Destruction of Property is a Crime!
What about Property Owning Rights ???

August 14, 2018

To Whom It May Concern

Please be advised that I have represented David Bianchi in numerous matters concerning properties in the City of Schenectady.

A number of years ago I was approached by an attorney who asked if Mr. Bianchi was willing to sell a property on Barrett Street, as a development project was planed I responded with his asking price, which admittedly was high taking into account the planed use of the property, the attorney replied “That’s ok, we’ll just have the City take it.” Subsequently, an abandonment proceeding was commenced by the City of Schenectady, which the property was found to be abandoned despite the fact Mr. Bianchi continually used the property for storage and building inspector admitted he had never been inside the property.
Exhibits have subsequently misplaced by the Court.

Later, Mr. Bianchi attempted to pay back taxes on another property which was in the name of another family member. After submitting the payment in full to American Tax Funding. ATF returned the payment and indicated that they had been directed by the City of Schenectady to return same as Mr. Bianchi was not the proper payer. This was done despite the fact that the City frequently takes payments from other entities for tax payments. It was clear that the City simply wished to seize the property for back taxes, and even the representative of ATF stated they had never seen that situation before.

Mr. Bianchi owned another property that was foreclosed on and a judgment of foreclosure entered.
Subsequently, the mortgagee ex parte requested that the judgment be vacated, a fire later occurred at an adjoining property necessitating the demolition of an structure on Mr. Bianchi’s property. The City later sought to recover the significant demolition cost from Mr. Bianchi, despite the fact he had been divested of to the by the foreclosure proceeding, and knew nothing of what happened subsquently.

It appears that Mr. Bianchi’s Civil rights have been violated by the City of Schenectady on a number of occasions. It is unclear why he became a target of the City, but he clearly was.

Sincerely yours,
Glen W. Brownell

David Bianchi

It’s Not Always Just About The Money!
As The School Bus Drives By, I Think..
What Are We Teaching Our Kids These Days?
Hey Sawyer or Sara I Could Use Some Help On This!
Maybe a Song or a Editorial!
Schenectady Gate!!
We Will Just Go Through The City And Take It!
Property Owning Rights!!

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