Too expensive? Bay Area lawmaker takes on Ticketmaster hoping to lower ticket prices

California Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduces Assembly Bill 2808; hopes to lower cost of tickets on Ticketmaster

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Bay Area lawmaker takes on Ticketmaster, hopes to lower ticket prices
Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduced a bill that would no longer allow one ticket company to be the first to sell sporting event or concert tickets.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- East Bay Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduced Monday AB 2808, a bill that would no longer allow just one ticket company to be the first to sell tickets to a sporting event or concert. She claims prices for these events skyrocketed after the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation in 2010.

"Since Ticketmaster and Live Nation were allowed to merge, ticket prices have gone up an astronomical 140%" she said.

This bill is directly aimed at Ticketmaster.

MORE: California lawmakers want to ban hidden fees on hotels, event tickets

Assemblywoman Wicks says they control a massive majority of ticket sales in the U.S. This bill would allow other companies to also offer new tickets for a concert or sporting event. She says it would allow more competition among ticket companies and bring prices down.

"Ticketmaster controls 80% of primary ticket sales in the united states," Wicks said. "This lack of competition, otherwise known as a monopoly, hurts consumers."

Some people we spoke with say they've spent hundreds on tickets in recent years.

Christ Stapleton in the grass crowded at the very back, almost $700," Said Mark, from Walnut Creek.

MORE: Taylor Swift fans hold rally as they take Ticketmaster to court in DTLA over monopoly accusations

Taylor Swift fans took Ticketmaster to court in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, accusing the company of intentionally misleading them when the star released tickets for her "Eras" tour in November.

Others say they buy tickets the old-fashioned way by going to the venue.

"Took me about 20 minutes and no fees" said Zach Burris, who went to the Concord Pavilion to buy tickets. "It's crazy how much they are online. A couple hundred dollars."

MORE: Head of Live Nation faces Senate about Taylor Swift ticket fiasco

Ticketmaster said in a statement:

"We support reforms to improve ticketing, but AB 2808 will not do that. It will instead undermine the efforts of artists, sports teams and primary ticketing companies to minimize ticket scalping. Forcing artists and venues to hand over their intellectual property and tickets to secondary sites is a ticket scalper's dream. AB2808 empowers ticket resellers by blocking any and all price control tools artists can employ, including the use of face value exchanges."

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live