Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 27, 2014 at 7:14 PM | Page modified April 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

49ers fan sues NFL for $50 million over ticket policy for game in Seattle

A 49ers fan — in a $50 million lawsuit against the league — accuses the NFL and other parties of engaging in “economic discrimination” with an illegal ticket policy that limited credit-card sales for NFL Championship Game seats to selected pro-Seattle Seahawks markets.


The Associated Press

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
Does he realize that the NFL blocked those outside of the Rocky Mountain region from buying tickets to the AFC... MORE
Niner fans are endlessly entertaining. Hopefully he gets countersued for costs. What a tool. MORE
So taxpayers from the state of Nevada helped subsidize Century Link field? Reason #5,789,516,253 to hate effing santa... MORE

advertising

RENO, Nev. – John E. Williams III has been a San Francisco 49ers fan since John Brodie was throwing touchdown passes at Candlestick Park in the 1970s. So he was excited about the prospects of scoring a ticket to make the trip to Seattle in January to watch the 49ers and Seahawks play in the NFC Championship Game.

But the Las Vegas man — in a $50 million lawsuit against the league — contends his hopes were dashed by NFL and others he accuses of engaging in “economic discrimination” with an illegal ticket policy limiting credit-card sales to selected pro-Seattle markets.

His lawsuit, filed April 15 in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, says it was part of an effort to keep 49ers fans away and further promote the Seahawks’ home-field advantage at CenturyLink Field.

“They’re always boasting up there about their 12th player and everything else,” Williams told The Associated Press. “But by allowing the NFL to decide who can or cannot attend the games, you make it an unfair game. Seattle fixed it.”

Williams, a promoter in the entertainment industry, said because the league relies on public subsidies and money from taxpayers to build stadiums, it should not be allowed to deny ticket sales to individuals on the basis they are “not from an area determined by the team — or the NFL — to be fan of that team.”

In the case of January’s game, the Seahawks limited ticket sales to credit cards with addresses in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

“This selected process is contrary to the spirit of the NFL and contrary to public accommodation,” said Williams, who is seeking $10 million in punitive damages on top of $40 million in real damages.

Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of communications, said the league has no comment on the lawsuit. The Seahawks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Meet the winemakers

Meet the winemakers

View video interviews, conducted by The Seattle Times wine writer Andy Perdue, profiling five of our state's top winemakers.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►