NEWARK, N.J. (CN) – A federal judge rejected a class action Thursday by a New York Jets season ticket holder who says the team devalued seat licenses he bought at $4,000 a pop.
Represented by the Saddle Brook firm Cohn Lifland, football fan James Gengo brought the suit in New Jersey over a pair of PSLs, short for personal seat licenses, that he purchased in 2010 for two 200-level seats at the MetLife Stadium.
The Jets and the New York Giants share the stadium in East Rutherford, using PSLs to offset construction costs and financing. From 2010 to 2018, the Jets made PSL purchases a requirement for any fan who wanted season tickets in certain sections of the stadium, including the 200 level.
When the Jets began selling 200-level seats to the general public as well in 2018, Gengo claimed that the move had made his PSLs worthless.
Gengo claimed the PSL agreement gave him an exclusive right to seats at the 200-level, but U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler noted in a ruling Thursday that the contract lacks any such “exclusive” language.
Gengo also failed to prove that the Jets had a “bad motive or intention” in breaking any “implied contract” as part of the PSL agreement, Chesler said.
“The agreement does not provide the licensee PSL holder with ownership, equity, or real property interest in the Stadium or in other seats (PSL Agrmt. § 5(e)), it does not grant the PSL holder any real property or leasehold interest in the stadium or its seats (Id.), and it does not refer to the receipt of ‘exclusive rights,’” the 14-page opinion states. “Agreement expressly disclaims that plaintiff is not acquiring the PSL as an investment or with a view to profiting from future distribution or resale, and further that Defendants make no representations about the future resale market of the PSL.”
Even if Gengo was able to prove bad faith, Chesler said “the claim is still deficient because plaintiff received the ‘reasonably expected fruits under the contract.’”
As for the claims under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Chesler said Gengo failed on three counts.
“While the complaint alleges that ‘plaintiff purchased the PSLs based on defendants’ representations, express and/or implied,’ plaintiff provides no particularized factual allegations in support of such express representations,” the ruling states. “Nor does plaintiff allege a causal connection between such express representations and his inducement to purchase the PSL.”
On the last count, Gengo “has additionally failed to support this claim with factual allegations that defendants intended to knowingly defraud or deceive plaintiff, as required by the CFA,” Chesler wrote.