Politics and Government

Gov. Tim Walz signs ‘Taylor Swift bill’ into law, requiring more regulation in the ticketing industry

People clap on stage
Gov. Tim Walz signs the "Taylor Swift bill," which will regulate and increase transparency in the event ticketing industry, at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday among bill sponsors and supporters.
Ellie Roth | MPR News

Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill on Tuesday that will increase transparency when purchasing tickets to concerts, games and other events.

The law requires ticket sellers to list the full price, including fees, up-front on their website. It also bans speculative ticketing, where tickets are sold before they are actually available. And it will prevent ticket companies and resellers from using deceptive practices.

“This is about fairness in how we go about ticketing,” said Gov. Tim Walz at a signing ceremony at First Avenue. “It’s protection, so you don’t get a fraudulent ticket. The resellers can’t snatch them all up before you get an opportunity to do it.”

The law will go into effect in January.

Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, authored the bill in the House and Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights, sponsored the bill in the Senate. The bill was introduced last session, and the pair spent the interim between legislative sessions talking to stakeholders who will be affected by the bill.

“Everybody has that story that you wanted to take your kids to the Twins game, and you thought maybe you were getting a ticket for $65,” said Klein. “And then all of a sudden, at the end of the process, it was $89 and you’re on a five-minute clock that’s ticking down.”

Moller said the inspiration for the bill came from her experiencing trying to secure tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Minneapolis last summer. She wasn’t alone in her frustrations. When thousands of fans couldn’t get tickets for Swift’s tour, some paid upwards of 70 times face value to secure tickets. It prompted lawmakers across the country to introduce bills similar to Moller’s, which is fittingly identified as HF1989, a number many fans know as both the year Swift was born and the name of her fifth studio album.

Bill sponsors also worked closely with local and independent venues across the state, such as First Avenue and Hennepin Theatre Trust. Adrianna Korich, the director of ticketing at First Avenue Productions, said deceptive ticketing practices have a negative impact on small and local businesses.

“Fans are tired of being price gouged on the secondary market and they have lost faith in the ticketing landscape,” said Korich. “This is a major win for our state, our local music scene and local economy.

Korich noted that when the law goes into effect in January, consumers may see an increase in ticket prices at first, but that’s because ticket-sellers will be required to include all the ticket fees up front.

Despite what seems like a straightforward consumer rights issue, sharp disagreements among venues and ticket sellers, as well as lobbying campaigns by industry and consumer groups, have made bills in other states unsuccessful.

Robert Singleton, the director of policy and public affairs for the Chamber of Progress, spoke against HF1989 at a committee hearing earlier this year. Singleton argued that the bill will hurt consumers by restricting the role of ticket resellers and speculative ticketing.

“Limiting access to these secondary markets could stifle innovation in a ticketing marketplace that creates better options for consumers,” Singleton said.

StubHub and Vivid Seats, two of the largest ticket reselling companies, are members of the Chamber of Progress.

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