Lewisville, TX-based ticket broker Michael Melendrez is suing the Texas Rangers in Tarrant County Court after the team’s Group Sales Department allegedly stopped selling him tickets.
For an undisclosed number of years, Melendrez claims he would buy “large blocks” of tickets to Rangers’ home games from the Group Sales Department that he would then turn around and resell to customers. Melendrez allegedly bought the tickets for $10 each and resold them for $75 or more per ticket.
The issue that resulted in Melendrez suing the team arose in May 2009 after he allegedly tried to buy a block of 150 tickets to a game between the Rangers and the New York Yankees. Melendrez thought he had a deal for the tickets and resold 100 of them, but was later contacted by a Group Sales representative who allegedly said he was cancelling the order because he believed Melendrez was reselling tickets on StubHub. Melendrez denied that he resold tickets on StubHub, an online ticket marketplace.
The Rangers employee, Mike Lentz, allegedly told Melendrez that reselling the team’s tickets on StubHub was prohibited, which Melendrez questioned. While maintaining his denial that he had resold tickets online, Melendrez argued that others resold tickets through the online ticket marketplace. In addition, Major League Baseball has a contract with StubHub as the league’s authorized ticket resale marketplace.
“As a direct and proximate result of the wrongful cancellation of Plaintiff’s Order by Defendant’s Group Sales Department, plaintiff was damaged in the sum of $6,500.00 in lost profits for the 100 seats sold by him in reliance upon the representations made by Defendant’s Group Sales Department set out above,” the lawsuit states.
If the allegations are true, the Rangers would be the latest in a long line of teams that have attempted to squeeze out ticket brokers once the team becomes a major draw. The Boston Celtics did so after acquiring superstar Kevin Garnett and others, and recently the Minnesota Twins took some tickets away from brokers after moving into popular Target Field.
Melendrez is seeking damages in excess of the $6,500 he alleges to have lost.