Cook County Record

Friday, January 17, 2020

Federal appeals court says Colts season ticket holder has no right to renew tickets

By Dee Thompson | Jul 25, 2017


CHICAGO — A Pennsylvania ticket broker and former Indianapolis Colts season ticket holder has failed in his bid to persaude the courts to force the team to allow him to renew his season tickets, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said there is no such guarantee of renewal under the law.

The case of Yehuda Frager v. Indianapolis Colts Inc. was decided on June 22. 

Saying he expected he would be able to renew the season tickets in 2016, Frager bought 94 season tickets from the Colts in 2015. The following season, the Colts refused to sell him the same number of season tickets. 

Frager is a ticket broker who lives in Pennsylvania. 

The ticket purchase contract states that “the Colts reserve the right... to reject any order, transfer or renewal.” 

Frager argued the ticket purchaser had the right to own the tickets because he had paid to renew his season tickets. His lawsuit against the Colts was filed in March 2016, alleging tortious conversion. He claimed the invoice has a section on transferring ownership of the tickets, and the Colts Marketplace Program allows for the transfer of tickets by holders after paying a 30 percent transfer fee.

“The intent of the Colts is clear from this language," the appeals court said in its decision. "As such, the plaintiff did not have an ownership interest in season tickets for future seasons - including the 2016 season - and thus, he fails to state a valid claim for conversion.”

The opinion was authored by Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane P. Wood, with judges Richard Posner and Michael S. Kanne concurring.

Frager was represented in the action by the firm of Loevy & Loevy, of Chicago.

The Colts were defended by the firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister, of Indianapolis.

Many professional sports teams in recent years have sought to deny ticket brokers the ability to re-sell tickets. In April, the Denver Broncos revoked the season tickets of many season ticket holders who did not attend a game the previous season.

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit