Real Estate Co. Hits NFL’s Rams With Ticket Sales Suit
“Law360, New York (September 1, 2016, 3:54 PM EDT) — RCN Capital LLC, a private real estate lender, has filed suit accusing the Los Angeles Rams of failing to honor the seat license the company paid for, selling the tickets it reserved and now charging higher prices for tickets.
South Windsor, Connecticut-based RCN Capital, in a July 28 suit that appeared in the state court docket on Wednesday, charged that the National Football League and the Rams misled and defrauded ticket buyers who had previously purchased personal seat licenses before the Rams decided this year to move to Los Angeles from St. Louis.
Before the team moved, it sold RCN Capital a “charter personal seat license” to expire in 2025 for $238,350, the complaint said. The license entitled it to buy tickets for preseason and season tickets for Rams home games.
But the Rams now refuse to sell season tickets to RCN and have failed to provide the real estate lender with any notice that its season tickets have been revoked, according to the complaint that accuses the team of bad faith breach of contract and tortious interference with contractual relations and statutory thef.
“The defendant Rams and the defendant NFL … has a pattern and practice of accepting payments for purchase of season tickets in the primary market, selling the purchased season tickets to multiple parties, overselling the seating in the primary market, then holding on to the purchasers’ money, as an interest-free loan, using the money for a period of time and not delivering the tickets to all parties who paid for tickets in the primary market,” RCN charged.
In 1994, the Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis, and in 2016 the team returned to L.A. and its old stadium, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, which it hasn’t played in since 1979 and is in need of major repairs. Rather than renovate, however, Rams owner Stan Kroenke plans to build by 2019 a new $2.6 billion stadium on a different site that can accommodate a 300-acre complex with 80,000 seats.
Funding for the stadium is to come from charter personal seat licenses, Rams club memberships, NFL tickets and ticket options agreements, according to RCN Capital’s complaint.
Don Vaccaro, founder of RCN Capital, told Law360 in an email that RCN had “no choice” but to file the action.
“The Rams’ treatment of the personal seat license holders is unconscionable and we believe violates both Federal and State laws,” Vaccaro said.
Representatives for the Los Angeles Rams did not immediately respond Thursday to requests for comment.
RCN Capital is represented by Jason L. McCoy of the McCoy Law Firm.
The Los Angeles Rams are represented by Diane Westwood Wilson of Dentons.
The case is RCN Capital LLC v. The Los Angeles Rams LLC et al., case number 2:16-cv-01481, in the Connecticut Superior Court, Tolland County, Connecticut.
–Editing by Patricia K. Cole”