The New England Patriots, as part of the team’s ongoing legal tussle with secondary ticket selling giant StubHub, has begun issuing subpoenas to about...

The New England Patriots, as part of the team’s ongoing legal tussle with secondary ticket selling giant StubHub, has begun issuing subpoenas to about two dozen ticket brokers for information involving the resale of Patriots tickets.

The subpoenas, issued last week on Valentine’s Day to mostly New England-based brokers, demanded the brokers turn over six years worth of records concerning all work with StubHub; how the brokers acquired Patriots tickets; who the brokers bought the tickets from; how much the brokers paid for those tickets; and the exact rows and sections of where the seats were located, according to Jim Holzman, owner of Ace Ticket in Boston and one of the recipients of a subpoena.

“I was very surprised by the subpoena,” Holzman said. “It’s unfortunate that brokers are getting brought into this, but as one broker joked to me, ‘Nothing says I love you like a subpoena on Valentine’s Day’.”

The Patriots are one of the only NFL teams to take a hard line against the resale of their tickets, and won a legal battle last year in their fight with StubHub over the issue when a court forced the company to turn over the names of more than 13,000 people who bought or sold Patriots tickets.

How the subpoenas could affect StubHub rival Ticketmaster, which signed a multi-year contract with the NFL as the league’s secondary ticket reseller, is unknown. Ticketmaster recently announced it was acquiring secondary ticket company TicketsNow, which also presents brokers that resell Patriots tickets. Spokespeople for both Ticketmaster and TicketsNow did not reply to messages seeking comment, nor did representatives from the National Association of Ticket Brokers.

In an email to brokers obtained by TicketNews, StubHub Legal Director Allyson Willoughby offered support to brokers who were slapped with subpoenas.

“As you know, the New England Patriots are currently suing StubHub in Massachusetts. The Patriots want to prevent sellers from being able to resell Patriots tickets on StubHub. Instead, the Patriots want to restrict ticket resales to their own website. Some of our sellers have contacted us to let us know that the Patriots have served subpoenas on them, requiring them to produce documents and possibly to give deposition testimony. It is regrettable that the Patriots have elected to involve you in this dispute. StubHub recognizes that responding to subpoenas can be inconvenient and time consuming, particularly when a written response is required within ten (10) days of receiving it. Accordingly, should you wish any assistance or advice in responding to the subpoena, StubHub has arranged for an independent lawyer in Boston who is prepared to help you, at StubHub’s expense,” Willoughby wrote.

Sean Pate, spokesperson for StubHub, said he did not have an immediate comment on the matter but would issue a statement later. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Holzman said that his attorneys have spoken to the Patriots legal team and reached an agreement in a second round of subpoenas, expected to be issued tomorrow, Feb. 22, that would supersede the first one and narrow the scope of information the team is seeking, a move that will slightly ease the burden on what brokers will have to furnish.

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By Alfred Branch Jr.

  • The Doc

    July 7, 2008 #1 Author

    Bob Kraft shows up at the stadium on occasion to tell us all that everything he does is for the fans. That includes the Superbowl tickets he witholds to sell in “premium” packages instead of making them available to his season ticket holder base. That includes his resale tickets that he profits on over and above the face value. That includes charging $75 to bring a baby in to sit on a fan’s lap. And I needn’t go on.

    I have been a season ticket holder all of my adult life. My friends who accompany me to the games and our pre and post game tailgating festivities give face value for the tickets. But, after each superbowl has gone by and I have not been a “lucky” lottery winner to purchase tickets, I have had to resort to buying “scalped” tickets at huge premium prices to support the team I love to watch. This past year, due to financial hardship, I couldn’t afford to do buy them without selling a few of the end of season extra tickets I had. And, yes, I sold them on StubHub. Oh yeah, and from whom did I purchase those superbowl tickets? You guess it, that would be the Patriots and Bob Kraft. And now, I read that my season ticket “license” may be in jeopardy? Shame on you Mr. Kraft.

  • crazy joe

    August 19, 2008 #2 Author

    This man is a marketing genius. He fights for his pocket book only. He sells us tickets for mu co bucks. Then he thinks he still owns them. We tailgate in the camper lot D10 @ $125 a spot. Now he piles the campers on top of themselves to get more in. So close we have to tailgate inside the camper. Greed is the name of the game. Right now he’s on top. What allows him to be arrogant is the fact that if you says take these tickets and shove them, he will to the next guy on the waiting list. As long as the list is waiting he doesn’t care about us. Wait a few years when the team is not doing so well. He will be crying the blues. Then he’ll want the old base customers back. This is what happened years ago. He builds stores where the parking was, now there’s less parking and more confusion then ever. The Town of Foxboro keeps bending over and letting him do what ever like he was god. Little do they forget he was going to Conn not to long ago. After all he is the new almighty OZ. Guess we’re not in Kansas any more! nobody asked just my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    February 23, 2008 #3 Author

    AS HOLZMAN CLAIMED THE PATRIOTS HAVE WITHDRAWN THERE SUBPEONAS AND ISSUED NEW ONES THAT ARE FAR LESS REACHING TO BROKERS WHO HAVE BEEN SERVED. It Still seems sucky that Boston Brokers were dragged into this by Stub Hub revealing confidential information and the Patriots being so arrogant in there behavior

  • Anonymous

    February 25, 2008 #4 Author

    Patriots thats football right? Who cares money makes the world go

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #5 Author

    The samething is going to happen to Brokers with MLB and Teams because of Stubhub deal with MLB next year. Guys the end is in sight.

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #6 Author

    The same end is near poster is the same type of short sighted broker who has lived off stub hub for the last 2 years. you reap what you sow.

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #7 Author

    Your Right, We lived off of StubHub and now we are going to die with it. They will be lawsuites from brokers I bet. But we are going out of business. We made our money.

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #8 Author

    Do people really think the Patriots are doing this for the sake of the fans? If you think that then you are clearly mistaken. The Patriots want to take the outside secondary market away. If successful then they will allow people to resell in their own secondary market under their terms and FEES! It is all about them making the secondary market money. Which means people will still be able to jack up the prices just not on Stubhub. And what goes to say people wont just sell tickets on craigslist, ebay and their own broker sites??

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #9 Author

    You’re all crazy!

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #10 Author

    The Cubs will not win the World Series

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #11 Author

    I hope that Ace Ticket is successful here, it could shape the future of our industry. Patriots vs Stubhub vs Ace Ticket- battle of the Century! Im betting on one of our own, lets go Ace!

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2008 #12 Author

    “battle of the Century” you must be crazy

  • Brian

    February 22, 2008 #13 Author

    The same patriots team that has gotten caught cheating twice… interesting.