New York Giants and Jets football fan Harold Oshinsky has filed suit against both teams, claiming they are illegally forcing thousands of season-ticket holders to buy personal seat licenses (PSLs) to finance the teams’ new $1.6 billion stadium. Oshinsky has had season tickets to both teams for more than 25 years, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The lawsuit was filed March 16 in federal court in Newark, NJ, by Oshinsky’s counsel, Andrew Freidman of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg in New York. Freidman told TicketNews the basis of the suit is a violation of competition law by requiring at least 45,000 season-ticket holders to make one-time payments of $1,000 to $25,000 (based on seat location) for the permanent right to buy future season tickets. Oshinsky requested not to be interviewed.
In the complaint, Oshinsky stated that the fixed prices for the PSLs and the 2010 season tickets are artificially high and were set simply to maximize profits.
“The terms and structure of the requirements for the PSLs are problematic,” Freidman told TicketNews. “There’s not even a mechanism for re-selling.” He said the PSLs unfairly demand customers to buy season tickets regardless of the price through at least 2025 and can be taken away without reimbursement.
Freidman said that the teams have 30 days to respond. He added, “I’ve already received two or three other phone calls from other season ticket holders. Having more than one potential plaintiff significantly increases the chances of the lawsuit being certified as a class-action.”
The new stadium is under construction (ahead of schedule) next door to the current stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. In a press release last year, Giants co-owner John Mara stated, “Given construction costs and NFL and lender requirements for paying down our debt, and after much thought and analysis, we decided this PSL program is necessary.”
When TicketNews asked what the main point of the suit is, Freidman said, “In order to continue to purchases season tickets, you’re required to purchase an additional product they created, a PSL. Only monopolists could do that.”
Freidman said case law surrounding the issues that were involved when NFL franchises have moved (e.g., the Cardinals to Arizona) can be read as in support of Oshinky’s lawsuit.