DENVER — On Tuesday, Colorado Avalanche fans looked for tickets to the Stanley Cup Final and collectively scoffed at the prices.
The cheapest tickets on the secondary market for the Avs' first game were going for $900.
“I share the frustration of those who are looking at these prices and say, ‘really?!'” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said.
Weiser cheers for the Avs but isn't a huge hockey fan. The Nuggets are his team of choice, but he can still sympathize with fans trying to score tickets to the Stanley Cup Final who feel like they've experienced price gouging.
“You may say, 'That’s outrageous. I’ll never pay that much,' but it’s not against the law," Weiser said.
"As long as you’re told what you’re getting, even if the price is crazy high, that’s the market," Weiser said. "That’s supply and demand.”
In 2020, Colorado passed a law to address price gouging and protect vulnerable people during times of emergency. The law only applies during a disaster declaration, Weiser said.
“Colorado passed this law once we found ourselves in a pandemic and we heard stories about people engaging in really unconscionable behavior," Weiser said. "Jacking up prices for hand sanitizer and the like in ways that were not justifiable and not comparable to what other responsible sellers were doing.”
There were also concerns of price gouging in Colorado after the Marshall Fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes in December. Weiser's office sent letters to several short-term rental companies urging them to address illegal price gouging.
“We haven’t pursued any cases here in Colorado under our statute because we haven’t found any that rise to that level," Weiser said. "It’s a pretty high standard and only happens in unique situations."
Missing out on the Stanley Cup Final in person might feel like a disaster to some fans, but hockey tickets aren't like hand sanitizer during a pandemic.
“[The law] only is applied to a set of what I’ll call critical goods and services," Weiser said. "So even if somehow, some way there was an emergency, getting tickets to an Avs game would not be covered by the price gouging law.”
Still, $900 doesn't exactly sound fair to most fans.
“That does suck, so I give people my sympathies for that frustration, but I will also tell Avs fans and others, there’s no legal claim or violation here," Weiser said.
Stanley Cup Final tickets may be unaffordable, but we're all free to complain.
“It is frustrating, and people can complain away," Weiser said.
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