As Taylor Swift Heads to Louisiana, Sen. John Kennedy Is Still the Voice of Reason on Ticket Scalping

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Taylor Swift tickets have now gone on sale in New Orleans, and media are once again predicting a situation in which concert-goers could be charged as much as $10,000 apiece.

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Ever since Taylor Swift announced last week she would be descending upon the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans next year for a three-night run as part of her extended Eras Tour, area Swifties have been preparing for the Great War that will be securing tickets.

Get ready for a fresh round of progressive complaining about Ticketmaster—which does indeed charge high prices and high fees for in-demand items like Taylor Swift tickets, but which also does not appear to be the culprit here:

But scalpers are already deceptively selling what they’re claiming are “tickets” on sites like Stubhub, Seatgeek and Vivid Seats. In reality, they are not actual tickets a reseller has but rather potential tickets a reseller is hoping to procure and sell. This is called speculative ticketing.

If the resellers can’t get a ticket or choose not to complete the transaction for any reason, they can cancel the order, sometimes leaving fans without a ticket at the last minute.

The prices are also far more than what someone would pay going through Ticketmaster’s initial sale. For instance, scalpers are selling prospective tickets in the nosebleeds for around $1,500, while a comparable seat for a Houston show in April went for about $140.

Scalpers are also selling prospective tickets at the front of the floor for more than $10,000, likely at least ten times what someone would pay for similar seats going straight through Ticketmaster, despite the high fees the platform charges.

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If the resellers can’t get a ticket or choose not to complete the transaction for any reason, they can cancel the order, sometimes leaving fans without a ticket at the last minute.

The prices are also far more than what someone would pay going through Ticketmaster’s initial sale. For instance, scalpers are selling prospective tickets in the nosebleeds for around $1,500, while a comparable seat for a Houston show in April went for about $140.

Scalpers are also selling prospective tickets at the front of the floor for more than $10,000, likely at least ten times what someone would pay for similar seats going straight through Ticketmaster…

At some point, you’ve got to think that self-appointed “consumer rights advocates” like the Elizabeth Warrens of the world are going to realize that Sen. John Kennedy is about the only person who’s been talking sense about this entire issue for months now, and get behind what he’s been saying… right? Right?

It's kind of funny to see those "consumer rights advocates" so silent on this issue. Consumers are being exploited, and artists like Taylor Swift and Beyonce really don't do anything about it. Their fans are being bled dry by people making big bucks off their fandom. It's pretty disgusting, and Kennedy has routinely offered a pretty sensible solution.

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If you want to keep ticket prices down, Kennedy argues, you need to ban or limit ticket resale. This eliminates the entire point of using bots (or old-fashioned scalpers) on a ticketing site to buy up tickets at normal prices, and then reselling them at insanely high prices on platforms whose entire business model appears predicated on exactly that. I find it pretty funny that the CEO of SeatGeek was squirming so awkwardly during Kennedy’s whole line of questioning. Why is that?

Put simply, SeatGeek would go out of business tomorrow if a ban were instituted on selling exorbitantly priced secondary market tickets.

It's small potatoes when compared to the other issues of the day, but it's still an important one to a lot of Americans who are being drained of their money.

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