FAQ - Michigan Ticket Fairness


What are restricted tickets?

Restricted tickets tie a ticket to the credit card used to purchase it. An individual must present their credit card with a matching ID to enter the event, and most often his or her entire party must enter the venue together as a group.

Restricted tickets are typically nontransferable and nonrefundable, eliminating individuals’ ability to give away tickets as gifts, donate them to a charity, use them to show appreciation for clients or staff, and resell them if they cannot attend an event. This prevents money from flowing through Michigan’s economy – ultimately hurting the entire state.

If an artist or event promoter does allow restricted tickets to be transferred, individuals can typically do so only through outlets owned by the primary ticket seller. This allows the primary ticket seller to monopolize the secondary ticket market, thereby eliminating competition in the ticket industry, limiting access to tickets and subjecting consumers to unjustified prices and fees.

Which Michigan venues use restricted tickets?

The use of restricted tickets is primarily determined by the artist and the venue. Venues that have used restricted tickets for shows include: The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theater, The Joe Louis Arena, The Michigan Theater, Dow Center and Van Andel Arena.

What are ticket holdbacks?

Ticket holdbacks occur when an artist or venue reserves a certain amount of tickets for companies, recording industry executives, VIPs, fan clubs, credit card holders and personal friends. It’s been recently revealed that ticket holdbacks for popular concerts can be upwards of 60 percent of the total tickets. This significantly distorts the ticket market and unfairly limits fans access to tickets.

What are software “bots”?

Sophisticated ticket scalpers often use software programs, or “bots,” that bypass fans and purchase large blocks of tickets from the online box office with the sole purpose of reselling them. This practice takes away consumers’ access to tickets in the primary ticket market and artificially distorts supply and demand, often raising the prices of tickets in the secondary market.

Do restricted tickets stop scalping?

Unfortunately, no. Though artists, venues and event promoters that support restricted tickets claim they stop scalping, the practice is merely a way to extend their control over the ticket market and make a larger profit at the expense of consumers, organizations and some businesses. The best way to stop scalping is by preventing bots from buying all the tickets to a show, and setting ticket prices to match demand.

Do restricted tickets impact Michigan’s tourism industry?

Yes! Because restricted tickets are nontransferable, fans and tourists are unable to secure seats for sold-out or popular events at last minute -- event when fans who are unable to use their tickets want to sell them.

Restricted tickets also prohibit travel and tour companies from including event tickets in packages. These companies frequently offer convenient packages that include transportation, tickets, accommodations and meals. Restricted tickets eliminate this option, causing Michigan cities to lose out on the revenue both in-state and out-of-state visitors generate not only for events but for hotels, restaurants, bars and stores.

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