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Utah Arts Center Struggles With Fake Sites Overselling Tickets

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Cache Center For The Arts
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  Ticket speculation — similar to ticket scalping — is a problem plaguing an arts center in Cache Valley. And Utah currently has no laws against scalping.

“We have heard of a couple instances of people who have purchased tickets online from resellers and they have purchased poor seats — to a show that is not sold out — for four to five times the price of the top ticket price,” said Wendi Hassan, the executive director of the Cache Valley Center of the Arts.

Hassan said there are several websites selling the venue’s tickets for higher prices to patrons. The sites wait for people to purchase its fake tickets before buying the real tickets — thus where the name ticket speculation comes from.

“They’re just fishing, they’re just trying to catch people and I think it’s deceptive,” she said. “I think it really ultimately hurts the performing arts — it hurts the performances.”

The best thing to do, Hassan said, is to pay attention to the site you’re purchasing from.

“We think the best thing is for people to be smart and go to the venue — go to the company,” she said. “Know who you’re buying tickets from.”

There aren’t any laws currently in Utah against ticket scalping or ticket speculation. In 2010 Representative Lynn Hemingway, a Democrat in Salt Lake City, introduced a bill that would have made ticket scalping a misdemeanor. The bill failed.

“The problem though is that what they’re doing is not illegal. Scalping is not illegal. Ticket speculation is not illegal,” Hassan said. “We try very hard to keep ticket prices low and keep them affordable. And we have generous community sponsors that help us do that. And we want to make sure those tickets stay affordable to people. So if you see a very large ticket price, there’s probably something going on.”