ABC News – A Colorado Rockies fan has filed a lawsuit against the Major League Baseball club, accusing them of illegally restricting the resale of game tickets to Stubhub and hoping to build a class action lawsuit against the sports franchise.
The plaintiff, Marilyn Sweet, says the baseball team is violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, according to the lawsuit. Passed in 2008, a provision in that law prohibits limiting the “terms or conditions of resale” and imposing sanctions “on the purchaser if the sale of the ticket is not through a reseller approved by the operator.”
But the Rockies club “forces consumers seeking to participate in the secondary market (by either re-selling their tickets or purchasing resold tickets) to exclusively use http://www.StubHub.com or face expulsion from the stadium,” the lawsuit states.
“On the face of every Rockies ticket it’s stated that you can be tossed out of the stadium if you purchase from anyone other than an authorized reseller,” said Steven Woodrow, Sweet’s attorney and a lawyer with Edelson Law.
This could be a groundbreaking case if it catches some steam. In one corner you have the Colorado Rockies who only allow a ticket holder to resell their ticket on the secondary market through StubHub. On the other side of the disagreement you have Marlyn Sweet, a Rockies fan who believes it is unlawful to only be able to resell her baseball tickets through one market. Does she have a point? Of course she does. MLB Teams, and many other professional sports teams, have been partnered with StubHub for some time now. Every sports fan, concert enthusiast, and most people on the streets have heard of StubHub for the most part. It’s built a very powerful brand. But does that mean that they should have a monopoly on the secondary market?
Why can’t this Rockies fan sell her tickets through other secondary markets like, for example: Craisglist, or Facebook, or TIXERS. All have pros and cons, but what is really the question at hand here is allowing the consumer and the distributors options to make a transaction. A company like Tixers would allow Merlyn the ability to get the value of her ticket back to her, without finding a buyer immediately. Something like that could be very appealing, rather than using StubHub who takes a percentage from the transaction of your tickets. This case should be very interesting to follow because of Colorado’s specific law passed in 2008 prohibiting the limitations on conditions for resale.