Squadron Announces Legislation to Ban Resale of Charity Tickets for Profit, Ahead of 12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert

Squadron Legislation Would Protect Consumers, Make Illegal Reselling Charity Event Tickets For More Than Face Value

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron announced legislation that would ban the reselling of charity event tickets for more than their face value, ahead of the 12-12-12 Sandy relief concert tonight at Madison Square Garden.

There have been a number of complaints from event organizers and potential concertgoers regarding tickets being resold on secondary sites for many times their face value. Money generated by ticket sales from these events is meant to go to the designated charity and to defray the costs of the shows, not to those who can resell the tickets to the highest bidder. Ticket sales for tonight's event are meant to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation’s Sandy relief efforts.

Squadron’s legislation would amend New York law to make illegal the resale of tickets for more than their face value if the event’s revenue is dedicated to a charity or not-for-profit cause.

"Events like this are about artists donating their time for a good cause. Yet today, profiteers are able to co-opt charity events to line their own pockets -- creating false ticket shortages for consumers and undermining events meant to help those in need. And that's simply unacceptable," said Senator Squadron. "This bill will go a long way toward preventing unscrupulous resales of tickets to charity events."

Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer sent a letter urging ticket re-sale websites to refuse to list tickets unless they are listed at face value or the additional profits benefit charity.

"There's a special place in hell for scalpers who would make a killing on the backs of Sandy disaster victims and other charities.  Until we restore New York's anti-scalping law, everyone can agree that tickets to charity events shouldn't be scalped.  Senator Squardron's bill would outlaw scalpers from free riding on the backs of charities and the donated efforts of entertainers and others to put on relief events and should be among the first bills passed in 2013," said NYPIRG Legislative Counsel Russ Haven.

“We applaud Sen. Daniel Squadron’s efforts to protect the integrity of charitable events for their intended purposes, by prohibiting the commercial resale of event tickets by private investors and individuals,” said Chuck Bell, programs director for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports.   “Charitable events such as benefit concerts are made possible by the generosity of the event sponsors, the performers and the production crews, and members of the public, who purchase tickets to benefit a cause their care about.  The speculative purchase and resale of tickets for private gain has no logical or appropriate role in nonprofit events to raise funds for hurricane relief, or other social causes.  We expect that this is an issue on which a majority of New Yorkers -- and a majority of New York legislators -- can quickly agree.”