Sunday, February 2, 2014

Josh Finkelman sues NFL for offering only 1% of Super Bowl tickets directly to public when NJ law says 95% must be sold that way

Finkelman as portrayed in the New York Times
The New York Times explained the apparent disparity between the NFL's business practices and the law of New Jersey, site of the 2014 Super Bowl:
Section 56:8-35.1 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act reads:
     “It shall be an unlawful practice for a person, who has access to tickets to an event prior to the tickets’ release for sale to the general public, to withhold those tickets from sale to the general public in an amount exceeding 5 percent of all available seating for the event.”
     While certainly a mouthful, to Mr. Finkelman and Mr. Nagel this passage from the law explicitly forbids the N.F.L.’s practice of providing only 1 percent of Super Bowl tickets for sale to the public. In fact, it would seem to dictate that 95 percent of the seats must be sold that way.
     ...Brian McCarthy, an N.F.L. spokesman, an email: “We can never fulfill all the requests for tickets. The N.F.L.’s Super Bowl ticket distribution process has been in existence for years and is well documented. We are confident it is in compliance with all applicable laws.”
     When Mr. McCarthy was pressed to explain how that process complied with the New Jersey law, he wrote a second email, saying, “We strongly disagree with the plaintiff’s interpretation of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act and his claims.” After one more request to clarify the nature of the league’s disagreement, he wrote, “We will be formally responding to the complaint next month. We do not have any further comment.”

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