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Survey shows Michigan fans want fair, transparent event ticket policies






Survey shows Michigan fans want fair, transparent event ticket policies

MICHIGAN – Registered voters and season ticket holders surveyed throughout the state overwhelmingly object to ticket policies that restrict fans’ rights to transfer their event tickets and want more information about how many tickets are available for sale for a given event, a survey released today by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland shows. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Fan Freedom, a consumer organization focused on fan rights in the live-event ticket industry.

Among the key findings, 94 percent of registered voters surveyed believe an event ticket is their personal property and 97 percent said they should be allowed to transfer the tickets they purchase to anyone they wish.

The survey explores voters’ and season ticket holders’ views on anti-consumer ticket practices increasingly in use in Michigan and throughout the country. The survey covered topics such as restricted tickets, withholding tickets from sale to the general public (a practice known as holdbacks) and the use of software programs to buy blocks of tickets online before the public has a chance to purchase them.

“When you buy a ticket, you own it. Period. That’s how fans view their event tickets,” said Fan Freedom President Jon Potter. “Unfortunately, too many events are hurting fans by placing draconian restrictions on tickets.”

Potter states that the continued use of restricted tickets that prevent consumers from giving away or reselling event tickets they can no longer attend will turn fans away in the long run. Nearly six in 10 registered voters and seven in 10 season ticket holders surveyed said they would not purchase tickets if they could not give away or resell them.

Other key results from the survey include:

  • 85 percent of voters surveyed believe the number of tickets held back by artists and concert promoters for fan clubs, elite credit card presales and VIPs should be disclosed to the public; and
  • More than 90 percent of those surveyed believe ticket-buying “bots” designed to bypass consumers and purchase large blocks of tickets from the online box office should be illegal.
  • 90 percent of registered voters surveyed believe that fans who resell tickets they cannot use should not be considered “scalpers.”

In 2012, Michigan hosted eight major concerts that issued non-transferable restricted tickets to fans. In addition, thousands of fans were left disappointed with the suspiciously fast ticket sell-outs of an Elton John concert in Kalamazoo and an upcoming Justin Beiber concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Many attributed the sell-outs to software “bots” and ticket holdbacks for VIPs, elite credit card holders and fan clubs.

“Michigan consumers deserve the truth from ticket issuers,” said Linda Teeter, executive director of Michigan Citizen Action. “Consumers should have the right to know how many tickets are truly available for sale. Otherwise they could be wasting their valuable time and energy online or on the phone waiting to buy tickets to a show they have zero chance of seeing.”

The survey also indicated Michigan voters favor an open resale market for tickets where prices are determined by fans’. Eight in ten surveyed agree that ticket resale prices should be determined by the market, not by the original ticket price.

“Results from the survey are similar across demographics and urban and suburban regions,” said David James, vice president at Penn Schoen Berland. “Males and females alike, as well as respondents of all ages stand firmly against what they perceive as unfair and market-manipulating ticketing practices.”

For more information on the results of the survey, see the summary distributed with this release.


Survey Methodology

Penn Schoen Berland conducted online surveys in Michigan among 501 Registered Voters and 76 Season Ticket Holders.  For the purposes of this research, all respondents were required to be Michigan residents who are registered voters.  Surveys were conducted November 21– November 30, 2012.

Questions answered by the full sample of 501 Michigan Registered Voters are subject to a sampling error of plus or minus approximately 3.6 percentage points at the 90 percent level of confidence. The sampling error for Season Ticket Holders is plus or minus 9.4 percentage points at the 90 percent level of confidence. This means that in 90 out of 100 samples like the one used here, the results obtained should be no more than 3.6 or 9.4 percentage points above or below the figure that would be obtained by interviewing the full population of the audiences included in this research.

About Fan Freedom

Launched in February 2011, Fan Freedom is supported by more than 150,000 live event fans, and is backed by leading consumer and business organizations such as the American Conservative Union, National Consumers League, Consumer Action, the Institute for Liberty, the League of Fans, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and Net Choice.

About Michigan Citizen Action

Michigan Citizen Action is a progressive citizens lobby that champions the rights of all people. MCA has a notable record of bringing about change by informing, engaging and mobilizing individuals and organizations through issue campaigns.