Legislators not inclined to put brakes on brokers Ticket-scalping bill a flop in House

April 02, 1993|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

Tired of paying double or triple the ticket-window price for an Orioles ticket from a broker or scalper?

Get used to it.

Legislation in the House of Delegates that would have banned such ticket scalping was withdrawn this session by the sponsor, Del. Leon Albin, D-Baltimore County, after his colleagues expressed little interest in the issue.

Albin introduced the bill after hearing about an incident last year in which someone who bought 100 Orioles tickets at $13 each sold them through a newspaper advertisement for $85 a ticket.

Baltimore prohibits ticket-scalping in person at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but no law prevents scalping at a distance -- through newspaper ads or agencies far from the stadium.

The Albin bill would have hit ticket brokers -- businesses that buy up blocks of tickets and then turn around and sell a $13 seat for $25.

Orioles vice president Bob Aylward supported the bill in a letter to Albin, saying: "Our concern, of course, is that the average Oriole fan may be subjected to paying inflated prices for individual game tickets."

But a lobbyist representing the Washington Area Ticket Brokers Association said the bill would prevent the association's eight businesses -- including six in Maryland -- from charging what they want for tickets, forcing them to close.

Members of the House Economic Matters Committee said there seemed to be little need for the bill and argued that it interfered with free trade.

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