The NFL has determined that the tendency of some teams to restrict ticket sales to certain addresses gives rise to no legal issues. The conclusion of the NFL’s lawyers is about to be tested.
According to the Associated Press, a 49ers fan has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the NFL for allowing the Seahawks to limit playoff ticket orders to pro-Seattle markets.
“They’re always boasting up there about their 12th player and everything else,” John E. Williams III told the Associated Press on Friday. “But by allowing the NFL to decide who can or cannot attend the games, you make it an unfair game. Seattle fixed it.”
The Seahawks won the game 23-17, erasing a 10-point first-half deficit.
The lawsuit alleges that the practice of “withholding the sale of tickets from the public at large and allowing only credit card holders limited to certain areas is a violation of the Federal Consumer Fraud Act and/or common law.”
The league had no comment on the lawsuit. In the wake of the news that the Seahawks would restrict sales for the NFC championship game, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said that he “respects” the approach.
Still, the practice definitely seems unfair. But plenty of things are unfair; that doesn’t mean they’re illegal.