New topic of new paperless ticketing technology reached the New York State Senate on Wednesday. The Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations held a hearing to allow comments on whether or not state lawmakers should require ticket sellers to offer customers a paper ticket.
Representatives from Live Nation, Madison Square Garden, the Broadway League, Veritix and the New York Yankees spoke against limitation on paperless ticketing. Joe Lhota, MSG’s senior VP of Government Affairs, as quoted in the Ticket News article about Wednesday’s testimony:
"This debate about how to handle paperless tickets threatens to compromise our ability to present diverse entertainment," said Joe Lhota, senior vice president of Government Affairs for MSG. "We do not dictate how [artists and promoters] price or choose to distribute their tickets." He added that the proposed legislation would make New York less competitive in attracting acts because those artists would gravitate to states and venues that do not have such restrictions.
Similar statements were made when New York City passed a smoking ban in 2003. People would simply seek out smoking-friendly nightlife in Connecticut or New Jersey, opponents of the ban said, and New York City businesses would be put at a disadvantage. That outcome never materialized. Similarly, it’s difficult to imagine many artists forgoing shows in New York City due to limitations placed on paperless ticketing. It’s a market that is too important to skip and with few substitutes across the river in New Jersey.
When the New York state law that allowed for ticket scalping expired last month, the governor said he would not sign an extension without a requirement for paper tickets, which would give consumers the freedom to sell their tickets on the open market. Currently New York state law does not allow ticket resale. Online ticket brokers such as TicketsNow have taken down New York listings.
In his opening remarks, senator Craig Johnson called Governor Paterson’s actions “bizarre” and said the issue is “incredibly important.” Senator Liz Krueger said she was at the hearing on behalf of consumers and wants to make sure consumers can do what they choose with the tickets they have purchased.
You can watch a 2:24 archived video of the hearing here: