Will Ticket Scalpers Meet the Same Fate as Spinal Tap Drummers? The Sale and Resale of Concert and Sports Tickets
Gregory M. Stein
University of Tennessee College of Law
February 19, 2014
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 238
Some people purchase concert or sports tickets for their own entertainment and then are unable to use their tickets. They may have a scheduling conflict, or their favorite team may be underperforming. Other people buy tickets with the intention of giving them as gifts. Still others purchase with the goal of reselling the tickets at a profit. This Article examines the transferability of tickets to performances and sporting events.
What, exactly, is a “ticket”? What property and contract rights does the initial ticket holder acquire? Does the holder have the legal power to transfer these rights? To what extent can the initial ticket seller limit that transferability? Does it matter whether the initial purchaser planned to sell at a profit all along? If there is a profit to be made, who is entitled to keep the resale premium? More generally, what are the economics of the market in ticket sales and resales?
Part I of this Article asks what legal rights a ticket creates under contract and property law and whether the party who acquires a ticket is legally empowered to reconvey it. Part II looks more globally at the economics of the market in sales and resales of tickets. Part III examines and compares the roles of the private market and the government in transactions involving the sale and resale of event tickets. Finally, Part IV looks to the future, suggesting some directions the ticket resale market may and should take as technology and the law continue to evolve and as the political process functions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Concert and Sports Tickets, Licenses as Property, Licenses as Contracts, Government Regulation
JEL Classification: A12, D10, D18, D40, D45, K11, K12, K21, L11, L82, L83working papers series
Date posted: February 21, 2014 ; Last revised: April 7, 2014
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