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Fan Sues Seahawks, NFL For $50 Million Over Ban On NFC Championship Ticket Sales

SEATTLE (CBS SF) – Remember the public outcry after the Seattle Seahawks restricted NFC Championship Game ticket sales to people living in a handful of states that didn’t include California? Now a man living in one of those states, Nevada, wants payback from the National Football League in the amount of $50 million.

John E. Williams, of Las Vegas, field a lawsuit, dated April 15th, which accuses the NFL, Seahawks, Ticketmaster and Washington State officials with fraud for the “unconstitutional ‘selective sales’ of tickets to national events held at public stadiums.”

Tickets to the game were limited to people with billing addresses in California, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and parts of Canada. Williams claims that infringed on his right to attend the game at a publicly-financed stadium during an event held by a tax-exempt organization, the NFL. He’s asking for for two damage judgments, one in the amount of $10 million, and another for $40 million.

As originally pointed out by, Williams claims the game was “to be played at a public stadium in the state of Washington, commonly known as Quest(sic) Stadium.” The home of the Seahawks was named Qwest Field from 2004-2011, but has since been known as CenturyLink Field. The error appears throughout the complaint.

The game, which was the third between the rivals last season, ended with the 49ers falling just short of a return trip to the Super Bowl. The small handful of tickets made selectively available sold out in minutes, and many California fans ended up spending hundreds to buy seats on the secondary market.

The Seahawks are not the only team to impose such a sale restriction. The lawsuit also calls for the NFL to adopt a uniform policy for seat sales.




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