Seattle Seahawks Tickets Lawsuit

SeaHawksThe Seattle Seahawks have had plenty of reasons to be in the news during this past NFL season and during the off-season. There was a stellar regular season highlighted by their great defense. Then, of course, Richard Sherman made headlines with his antics. Finally, and most importantly, the Seahawks have made news for their 43-8 beat-down of the Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Now however, the franchise is getting attention for a decidedly less than optimal reason. It looks as if the Seahawks organization is being sued by a Nevada man over tickets.

The crux of the matter is that the Seahawks apparently limited the states in which tickets could be sold to NFC Championship Game. Hawaii, Oregon, and of course Washington are some of the states, among others, in which the Seahawks sold tickets. This move was possibly done in order to make it more likely that the Seahawks would have a good home crowd. The idea would have been to limit sales to states where people are likely to support the team.

The problem was that the Nevada man, identified in a couple of articles as John E. Williams III, did not live in one of the team’s target states. Mr. Williams was thus denied the ability to purchase tickets from the team. Now, Williams is filing a lawsuit against the Seahawks organization over the ticket fiasco.

At first glance, this whole issue seems a little silly. It is hard to say for certain what the outcome of this lawsuit will be, but Williams most likely will have an uphill battle. It does not seem initially like the case against the Seahawks is particularly strong.

Williams was quoted as saying that the organization’s policy was unconstitutional. Honestly, unless he can point to a specific part of the Constitution that would have any bearing on this case, then his claims are hard to take seriously. It is not as if he was being singled out on the basis of race or gender. Nor is it the case that the state of Seattle is itself refusing to do business with other states. This was a policy made by an organization, so it will be hard to determine where the constitution would apply.

There is the so-called Interstate Commerce Clause. This appears, among many other topics, in Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution. This clause mentions regulating commerce among the states as one of the valid reasons for collecting taxes. Of course, this section of the Constitution has been debated endlessly. It would take a lot of twisting to say that this clause has any bearing on the Seahawks case.

It has been mentioned that the rules imposed by the Seahawks organization were unlawful because the Seahawks’ stadium was publicly funded. Apparently the thinking is that the team must therefore be willing to sell tickets to anyone. Again, this seems like a stretch.

It is unclear how Mr. Williams’ lawsuit against the Seahawks over tickets will turn out. Perhaps stadiums and the like should not be publicly funded at all. It seems that much of Williams’ argument surrounds the public funding aspect. In any case, this is a situation that could have an impact further down the line.

Commentary By Zach Kirkman

Sports Illustrated

5 Responses to "Seattle Seahawks Tickets Lawsuit"

  1. Charlie   August 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    It is obvious, John E Williams III is an opportunist that craves attention. This individual is clearly not an NFL fan. He claims to be a diehard 49er fan. My guess is that this individual has never even attended a 49er game let alone any NFL game. The 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals are in the same division. The Cardinals home stadium is in Glendale Arizona 275 miles from Las Vegas where Williams reportedly resides. Tickets for these games are readily available. I would wager that Williams cannot prove that he has ever attended any of these 49er games 275 miles away. It is also my guess that Williams has submitted fraudulent information in his lawsuit. The Seattle Seahawks organization and the National Football League should not pay this phony a dime, in fact they should countersue Williams for submitting fraudulent statements in a court document.

  2. John E. Williams III   May 18, 2014 at 3:46 am

    OK I will say this FTC Federal Trade Commission just got involved with my case. Be fair Public Event Public Stadium.

  3. frotoon2   April 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Why are you using a photo of the Seahawks that’s several years old? Look at the uniforms.

  4. Frettfreak (@mimrixmike)   April 27, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I am not familiar with the portion of the Constitution that’s States sports teams must sell tickets to anyone that wants them. It’s their business. They can sell tickets to who they want. This guy is gonna waste a lot of time and money to get no where. Loser.

  5. Aaron   April 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Seattle is a city, not a state.

    [i]Nor is it the case that the state of Seattle is itself refusing to do business with other states.[/i]


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