This e-mail to Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler is published with the permission of its author, who is director of operations at Ticket King Minnesota, a ticket brokerage based in Minneapolis.
I felt the need to follow up with you on your article relating to the secondary ticket market. While we remained neutral on the paperless ticketing bill that was in the legislature last session, it is necessary to point out the blatant inaccuracies of your article in relation to this industry.
First, regarding the taxation issue: as the largest local ticket brokerage in the state, I can assure you that the state is receiving their cut of the taxes from secondary market sales. We spend countless man hours and money ensuring that our accounting system is in line with the guidelines laid out by the Department of Revenue. To claim that taxes are not being charged on sales in the secondary ticket market is just ignorant.
Second, the notion that fans will at some point in the future "scalp" their own tickets: this is already the reality of the music industry. Musicians are "scalping" their own tickets, sometimes via Ticketmaster, sometimes through their own websites.
Third, you failed to note the fact that while some tickets sell for much more than the face value, there is no price floor in the secondary market like there is in the primary. When was the last time you saw ticket going for less than face value on Ticketmaster or an artist's site at the last minute? That's right—you haven't ever seen that. Because artists, teams, and venues won't allow a true free market by removing price floors. The secondary market, on the other hand, sells 40% of its tickets below the face value of the ticket. The secondary ticket market is one of the truest displays of free market economics in the nation, according to leading free market economists.
I understand that there are some people that do not have an appreciation for the secondary ticket industry. But before publishing a one-sided story that is full of erroneous information, I would encourage you to do a little more homework next time.