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National consumer group calls on NYC City Council to level playing field in notoriously unfair event ticket industry

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June 20, 2013
Contact: Ben Klein, NCL Communications, (202) 835-3323, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New York, NY—The below statement was issued by Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League (NCL), following the New York City Council’s hearing June 19, 2013 on ticketing.

“The National Consumers League thanks Chairman Daniel Garodnick and the Consumer Affairs Committee of the Council for recognizing the unfair marketplace consumers face when trying to buy live event tickets and for considering legislation to make this notoriously opaque industry more transparent. Too often, fans are shut out of seeing their favorite artists because tickets “sell out” in seconds. In truth, many fans never had a chance to get those tickets. What they don’t know is that the vast majority are too often pre-sold to fan clubs and special credit card customers or given away to industry insiders who then re-sell them for greatly inflated prices.

“We are also grateful that Kim Knox, Tony Fangel and Elissa Verill took time out to testify on their everyday experience, because they are real consumers that are being duped when tickets to popular concerts are not available.  This is nothing short of economic fraud and we need to make this marketplace far more open and fair to consumers.”

“We want transparency so that consumers are aware that for the most part, the cards are stacked against the them and can act accordingly. Hopefully this will force ticketing giants, concert promoters, artist management and industry executives to play fair so that the fan doesn’t end up time and again with short end of the stick,” said Kim Knox, an independent event producer.

Tony Fangel, a New York City resident, gave riveting testimony about his tragicomedy like experience trying to buy tickets to his favorite group, The Killers.  “It is absurd what happens in the New York City ticket market. I have gone to over 150 concerts in my life, most of them in New York. I was unable to get Killers tickets for four years because of the tickets being immediately sold out after trying to buy during the presale and the general sale right as they went on sale. Then they would end up on a website for twice the price. Something needs to be done,” said Tony Fangel.

Another witness before the Committee told a similar story. “My friends and I tried over and over to get tickets to the Governors Ball on Governors Island, we tried the first presale and right when the tickets went on sale, the screen froze for a few minutes only to come back and say they were sold out. We tried the second presale and the same thing happened. Finally, months later when regular sale came, the tickets were $300. If there was some transparency we could have made different plans and at least had a chance to go to the concert,” said Elissa Verilli.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.