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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Kosher Vendor Has No Real Beef with Citi Field

MANHATTAN (CN) - The owner of the Citi Field ballpark, home to the New York Mets, trounced a kosher food contractor that failed to make advertising payments and then complained that it could not sell its products on Friday nights and Saturdays.

After Kosher Sports Inc. (KSI) filed a federal complaint over the alleged blackout sales dates, which ironically represent the weekly, work-forbidden Sabbath of the Jewish faith, Queens Ballpark Co. (QBC) countered with its own breach-of-contract claims.

The parties entered into the 10-year deal in 2008 during the close of the Mets' former home, Shea Stadium.

The countersuit claimed that Kosher Sports was late on payments for advertising, tickets to Mets games and exclusive distribution agreements.

Though Kosher Sports argued that the contract gave it the right to sell its products at all events during the 10-year term, U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein found otherwise Tuesday.

"The contract principally covers advertising, not product vending issues," Weinstein wrote. "KSI's product-selling rights are the subject of a separate agreement between KSI and Aramark, which is not a party to this suit. The contract's passing reference to 'product distribution rights,' read in context, does not grant KSI any right against QBC to sell its products at the stadium; the language refers to QBC's promise to prohibit Aramark from selling other brands of kosher products. And the fact that the Contract grants KSI the right to advertise its products in one message on the scoreboard 'during each Mets regular season home game,' ... does not, as KSI argues, provide the right to sell its products at each and every Mets game."

Queens Ballpark made a better case.

"QBC's cross-motion for summary judgment against KSI for breach of the contract is granted," Weinstein wrote. "An 'action for breach of contract requires proof of (1) a contract; (2) performance of the contract by one party; (3) breach by the other party; and (4) damages.' ... All of these elements have been established beyond peradventure."

A magistrate judge will make the call as to what Kosher Sports owes in money damages.

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