Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Interesting Lawsuit

From the Las Vegas Sun: A Las Vegas football fan has filed a federal lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages because he couldn’t buy tickets to the NFC Championship game in Seattle due to a residency restriction.
But John Williams III, who makes a living working odd jobs at hotel conventions, says he’s not doing it for money. He just wants to make a stand against the National Football League, Ticketmaster, the Seattle Seahawks and others for committing what he calls an “unconstitutional” sale of tickets to this year's NFC Championship game, which was limited to people with credit card billing addresses in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.
Describing himself as “a taxpayer, resident of the State of Nevada, and an avid football fan” in the April 15 complaint, Williams argued that because CenturyLink Field, home to the Seahawks, was partly funded with public money and because the nonprofit NFL is exempt from federal income taxes, the sale of tickets to the Jan. 19 game should have been open to everyone.
The Seahawks set the policy to ensure its home-field advantage in the championship game against their West Coast rival, the San Francisco 49ers. Ticketmaster was named in Williams' lawsuit for adhering to the directive from the Seahawks.
I agree with the lawsuit because the tickets should have been open to anyone in the U.S.. I understand why the Seahwaks restricted the sale of tickets- they wanted only Seahawks going to the game.
But the NFL is a national organization, it is a public event and taxpayers help support the Seahawks and the NFL through tax help with stadiums, tax breaks and providing the infrastructure to and from the Stadium.  And of course, not to mention the cops and firefighters that work at the stadium.
And not all NFL fans live in NFL cities and you are locking them out of buying tickets.
While his lawsuit is not worth $50,000,000 it does raise some good legal questions.

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