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Post date: November 10 2003

Nfl Team Alters Policy On Season Ticket Waiting List

Attorney General Spitzer today announced an agreement that will provide additional protections for consumers seeking season tickets to New York Jets football games.

"The Jets did the right thing and agreed to reform certain policies that were a concern to fans," Spitzer said. "I commend the team for working with my office to resolve this matter."

The agreement concludes an investigation by Spitzer's office into concerns about the way the team was administering a waiting list for season tickets.

In August, the team announced that fans who wanted to be on a waiting list for season tickets would have to pay $50 per year to reserve and maintain their place on the list. However, due to the fact that more than 10,000 people applied for the tickets and the fact that only a few hundred season tickets become available each year, it was possible that people could be on the waiting list for many years.

The Attorney General's view was that consumers should be better informed on how long they might have to wait to receive tickets and should be provided with options for cancelling their participation in the waiting list process.

After a number of stories about the situation in the New York Post and other publications, the Jets made some changes to the waiting list policy, including agreeing to deduct the fees from the price of the season tickets when ultimately issued.

The talks with Spitzer's office produced additional reforms. Under the agreement, the team will:

  • Disclose an individual's place on the waiting list and provide other information to help consumers estimate the possible waiting time for season tickets;

  • Provide a refund of the initial $50 fee if fans decide to remove themselves from the list;

  • Establish a lifetime cap of $500 on waiting list fees; and

  • Allow fans to transfer their place on the list if they move out of state.

The team has also agreed that at least 80 percent of the tickets not renewed by current season tickets holders will be made available to those on the waiting list.

This matter was handled by Kenneth Dreifach, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Internet Bureau, and Special Assistant Attorney General Stephen Mindell of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.

The case is one of several Spitzer's office has handled regarding tickets for sports and entertainment events. For example, in January, the office reached an agreement with the New York Yankees to provide refunds for service charges on tickets for unplayed post-season games in 2002.