Cornyn and Klobuchar Take on Ticket Resales

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) | Image by Christopher Halloran, Shutterstock

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke at the American Airlines Center Wednesday about his proposed federal ticket-selling and re-selling reform bill.

The FANS First Act, a bipartisan initiative between Cornyn and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would outlaw the use of bots to purchase tickets and require greater ticket pricing transparency with regard to taxes and fees. The act would also give the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general the power to levy penalties on ticket brokers found violating the law.

According to Cornyn, the legislation aims to protect fans and focus on “predatory scalpers,” per The Dallas Morning News.

Cornyn said he was not aware of the extent of the problem until the debacle of Ticketmaster’s handling of ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” in 2022. It was then that Cornyn learned of abuses on the “secondary market” and the proliferation of “bots” that amass large quantities of tickets intended for resale at inflated prices.

On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1639, termed the “Save Our Swifties” legislation, intended to penalize those in Texas who use bots to purchase tickets.

Cornyn said the Texas legislation is consistent with his FANS First Act but insisted the online nature of ticket sales also demands a federal approach.

Appearing with Cornyn on Wednesday were Edwin Cabaniss, owner of the Longhorn Ballroom, and representatives from the Dallas Stars, the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers, FC Dallas, and the American Airlines Center.

While a law banning bots already exists in the United States, Doug Dawson, senior vice president of stadium revenue with the Dallas Cowboys, said it lacks any substantial penalties.

The “bad actors,” said Dawson, are unafraid. “They just see the upside. They don’t see a downside,” he said, per the DMN.

Moreover, said Dawson, venues have “very little opportunity” to assist fans when they have overpaid or bought fraudulent tickets.

In some cases, fans feel cheated by the artists, said Max Stallings, a singer-songwriter based in Dallas. When fans at his shows believe they have been conned, “They stand there, cross-armed, at the front of the stage and give me the stink eye all night,” said Stallings, per the DMN.

“[N]ot only have I lost this fan moving forward, but they also say to themselves, ‘You know what, I’m not buying any of your stupid T-shirts. I’m not buying any of your stupid other merch that you have there that generates revenue,’” he continued.

Jimmy Smith, the chief financial officer of FC Dallas, said with the World Cup soon descending on North Texas, “[N]ow is the time to get this corrected,” per the DMN.

Dallas, argued Smith, must deliver “not only a good experience for our residents but for the thousands and millions of people that will be coming to Dallas.”

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *