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Ticket sales and Resales Under the Microscope

When a Texan buys a concert ticket, is it a license to have a great time or does it become personal property that can be sold or traded? Texas lawmakers plan to take up the question that has triggered legislative fights in other states and could determine how tickets for concerts, sports or any other major event are sold, resold or even taken away. An attempt to wrangle tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last month put a spotlight on the problem. The rodeo discovered that season ticket holders, sponsors and others who had tickets to a George Strait concert were reselling their tickets, some for as high as $11,000. Rodeo staff decided that reselling the tickets for a higher value violated the terms of the ticket and canceled 5,000 of them in order to resell the tickets to someone else. That set off a backlash from the ticket holders who claimed the tickets belonged to them. They claimed they should be allowed to do anything they want with their property, to include selling them at whatever price the market would bear. But the fine print on those tickets made the rodeo's revocation and re-issue of the tickets perfectly permissible. Texas lawmakers will hear testimony and look into the issue over the next few weeks and decide how to balance what is best for the ticket sellers and buyers. Other states will certainly be watching to see what Texas does.

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