Federal lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, are pushing legislation that would curb the purchase of concert and event tickets by so-called ticket bots, computer programs that are able to purchase tickets in bulk and resell that at much higher prices.
Klobuchar on Friday held a news conference at First Avenue after reports that many Prince fans struggled to buy tickets to an Oct. 13 tribute concert only to learn that many tickets might have been purchased by bots to be resold.
"I don't think Prince would have been a fan of what's going on where scammers are ripping people off and none of that money is actually going to the artist," Klobuchar said. "None of the money is going to people that perform."
Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of a federal bill that recently cleared a U.S. Senate committee. She said Friday she hopes the bill will come up for a floor vote by the end of the year. The legislation would give enforcement authority to the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, allowing federal officials to investigate across state lines, Klobuchar said.
State officials in New York have attempted to crack down on the problem of ticket bots after the runaway success of "Hamilton," the hit broadway show.
In Minnesota, a Star Tribune analysis of 10 recent and upcoming concerts in the Twin Cities found that 10 percent to 20 percent of tickets to the most popular shows typically wind up on resale sites, including an inordinate number of the best seats.