LOCOG Ticket Distribution Process is an Epic Failure

Aug 09, 2012, 10:24 ET from National Association of Ticket Brokers

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Ticket Brokers ("NATB") says the ticket distribution method imposed by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games ("LOCOG") is an epic failure that has not only exposed thousands of people to nightmarish ticketing problems but has also resulted in hundreds of empty seats to what should be sold-out events.

For years leading to the 2012 London Olympic Games, LOCOG took the position that it was a criminal offense to resell Olympic tickets without LOCOG's direct authorization.  All along, LOCOG has remained unbending and adamant about its position doing everything necessary to stop anybody from getting a ticket from an "unauthorized" reseller.  Several resellers have been thrown in jail, deported, blacklisted from Google and other websites, and had their VISA merchant accounts canceled.  LOCOG's concerted effort was designed to force consumers to deal exclusively with LOCOG's  partner and sole authorized reseller in the USA and Canada, CoSport, a company that has been involved in previous Olympic ticket scandals.

Regrettably, LOCOG's efforts have resulted in a well-documented ticketing fiasco.  Thousands of complaints have been lodged against LOCOG and CoSport.  Clients have been forced to wait up to 6 hours in the sweltering heat to retrieve their tickets only to be told the tickets are not available, others receive tickets that are not what they contracted for and even athletes cannot find tickets to give to their family members.  Yet hundreds of seats remain empty.

NATB Executive Director and General Counsel Gary Adler says this is exactly why having a closed secondary market does not work.  First, without competition, consumers are required to pay artificially inflated prices that a free market would correct.  Second, competition fosters accountability and consumer protections.  In stark contrast, a closed market forces people to go underground.  Numerous reports have surfaced of how people have bought off the "black market" only to discover their tickets are counterfeit.  "With an open and free market these problems are substantially eliminated," says Adler.  He goes on to note that, "Ticket brokers who are members of the NATB must follow strict guidelines that offer transparency and consumer protection.  By opening the market to legitimate, experienced ticket brokers, customers will have better service, pay less, have a greater selection of tickets and have some recourse should their order be less than perfect."

The NATB is a group of leading ticket brokers, involved in the sale of sports, concerts and theater admission tickets, for the purpose of establishing an industry-wide standard of conduct and to create ethical rules and procedures to educate the public concerning ticket-brokering services and to serve the primary goal of the NATB -- promoting consumer protection.  The NATB is dedicated to the principle of assuring the public that dealings with NATB members are conducted with integrity, reliability and convenience.  To this end, the NATB has created procedures that encourage the public to report improper and unethical conduct by ticket brokers, and to disseminate consumer protection warnings and guidelines.  Through self-governance, the NATB has provided many enhanced protections for ticket-buying consumers.  The NATB has worked with law enforcement agencies across the country, state and federal legislators and the NFL and other professional sports leagues and teams, to accomplish these goals, and has been vital in the NFL's fight against counterfeit and stolen tickets.  More information about the NATB is available at http://www.natb.org.

SOURCE National Association of Ticket Brokers