The TICKET Act has been introduced in the House as a means to legislate full fee disclosure on ticket purchases.
The current bill is modeled after advertising guidelines for the air travel industry, which requires full price disclosure before purchase. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) are co-sponsors of the bipartisan effort to make ticket pricing more transparent for the consumer.
The bill serves as a companion to a similar piece of legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) back in April 2023. Both of these bills follow a subcommittee hearing on tackling extra surcharges tacked on during the checkout process.
“Fans are incredibly frustrated by how hard it has become to buy event tickets,” says Rep. Jan Schakowsky in a statement about the TICKET Act. “With every ticketing debacle from Beyoncé to Taylor Swift, and so many more, their frustration grows. Consumers deserve to be protected from fraudulent tickets, surprise costs, and excessive fees.”
Senator Maria Cantwell echoed that sentiment in a hearing on Thursday. “The price they say, really should be the price you pay. And that can be added to, but it needs to be disclosed.”
The TICKET Act would require an itemized list of the base ticket price and associated fees. The associated fees must be disclosed at the start of a purchase instead of halfway through the checkout procedure. Finally, the bill also requires vendors to be upfront with their ticket pricing for ‘speculative tickets’ or those not in the seller’s actual possession.
“There is nothing more disappointing for an avid fan than being lured into the prospect of an affordable ticket to see his or her favorite sports team or band only to learn later in the checkout process that the final price tag is significantly higher,” adds Bilirakis. Ticketing fees can contribute significantly to final costs of ticket prices, anywhere from 21% to 58% of the final cost may be attributed to fees, according to a report from the New York Attorney’s General office.