A pair of lawsuits have been filed in New York against the Brooklyn Nets, alleging that the team violated state law by cancelling season tickets because some were being sold on the secondary market, according to the New York Post.
Brooklyn resident Simon Yedid and a group called Smiles 4 Kids Entertainment have both sued the team, claiming their pricey ticket memberships were illegally cancelled by the team in order to prevent competition against its official resale partner, Dynasty Sports and Entertainment.
“The suit seeks to protect fans and free enterprise in the face of Nets policies that apparently do not appreciate either,” reads a statement from the plaintiff’s lawyers released to the Post.
Smiles 4 Kids had its season membership cancelled in January, while Yedid had his cancelled in April. Both lawsuits are based off of a 2007 update to New York law, which was renewed earlier in 2019, protecting the rights of consumers to resell tickets to events in the state. A lawsuit filed by ASC Ticket Company in 2018 using the same law as its foundation ended with the New York Yankees settling with the plaintiffs after cancelling more than 50 season memberships owned by the company.
According to the Post, the Brooklyn Nets are attempting to backstop their revocation of the memberships in question by claiming Yedid and Smiles 4 Kids are in violation of a requirement that those selling a “significant amount” of tickets hold a license from the state to do so.
“We stand by our entirely lawful decision not to sell Nets season tickets to those who try to circumvent our purchase limits, or who violate NY Law by reselling tickets without obtaining a license in situations where one is required,” a statement from the team published by the Post reads.
The licensing requirements in New York are somewhat vague – there is no specific definition for the volume of ticket resale one must be engaged in to be required to license themselves in the ticket resale license information available from the state. The license itself is also onerously expensive for any individual or small business to consider – An annual fee for the license runs $5,000 – and that does not include a required $25,000 bond.
The plaintiffs are suing to have their season memberships for the Brooklyn Nets – who added Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency this offseason (though Durant is on injured reserve) – as well as unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.