Amendment to cut ticket scalping

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Leaders in Oklahoma City look to crackdown on ticket scalping. Tuesday the city council introduced an idea that would amend the city’s scalping laws for the first time in 30 years.┬áThe proposed changes are twofold.

First, it would set up a buffer zone around any event where tickets are sold.

Second, it would actually give legitimate ticket holders more freedom to resell their tickets.

“There are a lot of scalpers out there,” OKC special projects manager Tom Anderson said.

Anderson says the city would like to push street scalpers farther away from the building.

“It gets rid of that activity right in front of the event venue,” Anderson said.

The city’s proposed buffer zone essentially forces ticket scalpers to move 500 feet away from the building; that translates into about a tenth of a mile or two city blocks.

The one Thunder fan sees it as a good thing.

“I guess it would be less annoying not having people waving tickers in your face,” Matt Wintry said.

The city may also increase the ability of ticket holders to unload their unused tickets.

Right now, 50 cents above face value is the legal limit to resell tickets.

The city’s proposal would raise the cap to $20.

The goal is to drive those sales toward authorized vendors, like the Thunder’s ticket exchange.

“It’s OK to resell tickets and get your money back. We just want to make sure there’s less probability the public is taken advantage of,” Anderson said.

Still not every councilman is on board.

“To me it seems like we’re interfering in a business transaction,” OKC councilman Pat Ryan said.

“We’re actually, and I know some people disagree, trying to make an honest living,” ticket scalper Mike Chandler said.

Mike, an admitted ticket scalper, spoke against the law for philosophical reasons.

“What’s the difference between selling a ticket for more than you paid for it or selling a used car? It’s business. It’s free trade,” Chandler said.

The mayor said there is a practical reason to amend the city codes.

The Big 12, which brings conference tournaments to town, has encouraged the change.

The council won’t vote on the issue for another two weeks.