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League has no policy about address discrimination

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Both the Seahawks and the Broncos made headlines in recent days for limiting the billing addresses from which tickets for the conference championship games can be purchased.

Despite plenty of complaints from 49ers fans and Patriots fans who wanted to buy tickets at face value but couldn’t because of where they reside, the practice is permitted by league rules.

The NFL has informed PFT that there’s no league policy on the issue, and that the NFL has determined that the practice gives rise to no legal issues.

Ultimately, it’s up to the team.  Ultimately, someone who really wants to go to the game can get tickets via the secondary market.

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30 Responses to “League has no policy about address discrimination”
  1. stealthjunk says: Jan 14, 2014 12:39 AM

    This is nothing new — it’s just that you’re just now noticing it. The policy also stops scalpers from across the country from buying up all the seats and gouging fans who actually buy the tickets to go to games.

  2. therealraider says: Jan 14, 2014 12:49 AM

    I remember seeing a sign somewhere that said “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”.. Oh I remember its EVERYWHERE.

  3. thornziegler says: Jan 14, 2014 12:50 AM

    I wonder if there might be a class-action case based on discrimination hovering around the interstate commerce clause?
    I’d love to see the Ding-Dong Commish of the Anna Fell embroiled in a decade of legal smash-a-smash with a hundred dozen well-represented plaintiffs. Maybe we’d get a decent commissioner after that.

  4. vbe2 says: Jan 14, 2014 1:17 AM

    The NFL can determine whatever they want to determine, only a court can determine if there’s any legal issues though.

    I hope someone out there sues.

  5. silvernblak says: Jan 14, 2014 1:28 AM

    except it’s against the law to scalp tickets, oh that’s right I forgot, Roger Goodhell is the law!

  6. @HowdyDoobie says: Jan 14, 2014 2:12 AM

    It would be nice if every team in the playoffs only sold tickets to fans waiting at the stadium earlier in the week. Making fans buy the tickets online really takes the fun and excitement out of it. Like the people camping in front of Best Buy on Black Friday. Reward the dedicated local fans.

    If an opposing fan has the guts to wait in line with for hours with 1000′s of local fans. Sell them all ticket.

  7. vermonator says: Jan 14, 2014 2:18 AM

    It is by definition, discrimination.

  8. mornelithe says: Jan 14, 2014 2:34 AM

    This is fairly amusing, and the league’s basically given carte blanche to the owners to do whatever they want here. I can see it now, 10 years down the road, no team allows ticket sales to anyone outside of their State lol.

    As for me, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it anyway, nor would I bother if I could. There’s better beer in Vermont than I’d find at any of those stadiums.

  9. oaktown49er says: Jan 14, 2014 2:39 AM

    “And I respect that their organization does that for their team. They do that in a lot of ways, with their team, with their fans, with their organization. So, what do I think of it? I respect it.” Jim Harbaugh
    Even Harbaugh isn’t complaining about Seattle doing this. Of course that wouldn’t be part of the story, as is doesn’t fit in with the “they hate each other”, “Harbaugh complains about everything” and “the Seahawks cheat” story lines.

  10. lanman11 says: Jan 14, 2014 3:09 AM

    No Florio, they can’t just get tickets elsewhere if they cannot buy them at face value. They must pay exorbitant scalper prices and that’s the point. Add air fare and hotel, and it becomes too prohibitive for most. The league is basically sanctioning this behavior where some of their fans are discriminated against but others are not. It’s already too expensive to go to an NFL game. This puts it over the top. Just because there is no rule doesn’t mean it’s OK.

    The Broncos and Seahawks can expect the wrath of God for this.

  11. champsb3233 says: Jan 14, 2014 3:15 AM

    The Broncos have restricted playoff tickets to the Rocky Mountain states for many, many years. They did it last week, and where were the complaints from San Diego fans, unless beating up a Broncos fan was the reaction?

    In fact, in the regular season, the Chargers for many years have restricted the purchase of individual tickets for their home game against the Raiders unless another game — usually a preseason game — is bought, thus keeping the convicts out of the Murph.

    How about this: Get home-field advantage and you can market your tickets to your own fans. Otherwise, shut up and play the game.

  12. mdagnew1 says: Jan 14, 2014 4:30 AM

    I find this funny. As a Ravens season ticket holder, we sell out 99% of our playoff tickets. Only singles are available and they’d sell out in minutes. These fanbase’s can’t sell out Playoff tickets?

  13. dolphinsperfectionunmatched says: Jan 14, 2014 6:04 AM

    The NFL should set some policy to prohibit this it is B.S. People move from their home town for various reasons such as a job or joining the military and now when they want to go support a team they grew up rooting for, they are being smacked in the face by billionaire owners. Very classy move…

  14. hmmm71 says: Jan 14, 2014 6:18 AM

    I’m surprised this hasn’t been tried a lot more in the past.

  15. allhailkingflacco says: Jan 14, 2014 7:07 AM

    Why would 49er fans even want to go to Seattle ?

    I mean, to beg to buy a ticket to see your team lose is just not a good look.

  16. bcgreg says: Jan 14, 2014 7:32 AM

    It’s still discrimination. If tickets are made available to the public, then you can’t pick and choose who to sell them to. This will become a legal matter at some point in the future. The teams who do this SHOULD be sued for discrimination. Imagine if they wouldn’t sell tickets to people based on skin color, gender, or because of the car you drive…

    Yeah. That’s what I thought. It’s a discriminatory practice that should end and should be stopped.

  17. slugdc says: Jan 14, 2014 7:33 AM

    I have no problem with teams doing this. I love good home team atmospheres.

  18. duece5 says: Jan 14, 2014 7:34 AM

    My advice to #2 seeds: become a #1 seed next year, do the same thing, and quit the whining.

    This is a competitive country……..competition begets the best, usually, in most people/organizations.

    The #1 seeds deserve a competitive advantage BECAUSE THEY EARNED it.

    Hmmm…..what a concept-EARNING SOMETHING.

    A concept lost on today’s current lot of those who feel the “deserve” something because they breathe or have the money.

  19. titansbro says: Jan 14, 2014 7:50 AM

    I love it. Get over yourselves people, you can still get them on a secondary ticket site.

  20. fatguystrangler says: Jan 14, 2014 8:02 AM

    Address discrimination? Like when Elaine tried to get the flounder delivered on Seinfeld?

  21. dryzzt23 says: Jan 14, 2014 8:16 AM

    I see NO problem with this. Free market – ever hear of it? As usual, if a team or citizen gets “wronged” they have been conditioned to run posthaste to some almighty governing authority to have their grievances heard and rectified…..in exchange for their vote of course.

  22. csbanter says: Jan 14, 2014 8:45 AM

    Its kinda hard to believe the Broncos would have to be concerned with having a “large” contingency of Pats fans at Mile High. The NFL should look at its policy regarding Superbowl tickets. Why are so few tickets made available for the general public ?

  23. swu32733 says: Jan 14, 2014 8:46 AM

    Seahawks should add Oregon to the no sale list. It’s really just Northern California. Most of the population of Oregon are transplanted California. They will be at the game cheering for the whiners.

  24. roserowdie5 says: Jan 14, 2014 8:58 AM

    Reason 1,548 to hate the NFL. That’s the attitude. “Just pay 4x our already jacked up prices. What’s the big deal?”

  25. unbridledsexy says: Jan 14, 2014 9:57 AM

    Sorry, but the folks who live in the teams “region” and are paying the taxes for the stadium should get first crack at the tickets. It’s only fair. This is their team and their city. It’s not like we are talking about the right to free speech here.

  26. iamedreed says: Jan 14, 2014 10:23 AM

    ok fine do what you want NFL since you’re a “private business” but you no longer get public subsidies, tax exemptions, and we will not longer ignore the fact you are blatantly in violation of anti trust laws.

  27. Slackmo says: Jan 14, 2014 10:35 AM

    “Address discrimination”–a new class of people whose civil rights can be violated and sue in court!

  28. ripamaru96 says: Jan 14, 2014 11:15 AM

    The 9ers should wait til the Seattle game next year and then boot out every fan wearing any seattle gear. It says right on the ticket they have the right to revoke the ticket for any reason.

    They want to play games, then play back.

  29. dave4nyfg says: Jan 14, 2014 12:17 PM

    Fine so long as teams that do this don’t go begging for public money and use tourism dollars as an argument in support…

    That said, do think its a bit classless. All other teams should block just the areas that these teams select.

  30. nesuperfan says: Jan 14, 2014 1:29 PM

    Yes, it is discrimination, but only these types of discrimination are illegal under the law: Race, gender, pregnancy, age (if over 40), national origin, religion, disability, citizenship status, and genetic information. Also, you can add in children if talking about housing.
    There is nothing illegal about this type of discrimination, therefore, there is no merit to any lawsuit: It would be a waste of time.

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