A Toronto Raptors season ticket holder has sued the team because the front row tickets he bought became second row seats after the team installed a new row in front of them.
Mark Michalkoff is seeking $1.6 million in damages as a result of the situation, which began in 2007 when his company, DLF Solutions Inc., upgraded third-row seats to the front row.
Michalkoff paid $915 apiece for the tickets, and he claims the team told him that they were “Jack Nicholson”-type VIP seats. But just prior to the 2007-08 season, the Raptors reportedly installed six seats in front of Michalkoff’s at the Air Canada Centre.
The new seats cost $1,650 each, or $735 more than what he had already paid per seat, and he balked at upgrading again.
Michalkoff claims he tried to discuss the situation with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), owner of the Raptors. MLSE reportedly did not respond, so he sued.
“Then they insult us by calling us scalpers in a counterclaim,” Michalkoff told the Toronto Star. “I’m ready to go to court and have it out. I don’t think there’s anything they can do to stop it now.”
The Raptors claim that Michalkoff’s company resells tickets above face value, which is against team policy. He denies the charge.
In court documents, Michalkoff stressed that DLF Solutions sells and manages company incentive programs and gift cards, with which the tickets are sometimes bundled.
In such cases, DLF Solutions said it charges a 5 percent service fee above the ticket’s face value to cover expenses associated with “sourcing and distributing” the tickets. The company claims it does not make a profit from the tickets.
The team reportedly refunded the money from Michalkoff’s season ticket purchase, in addition to the amount he paid in personal seat license fees. The two sides are scheduled to appear in court on November 15.