SBD/Issue 165/Facilities & Venues

Court Rules Pats Fan Bound To 10-Year Club Seats Agreement

Court Rules Patriots Fan Bound
By 10-Year Contract For Club Seats
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Thursday ruled that Patriots fan Paul Minihane, who "decided he wanted out of his 10-year agreement for two clubs seats" at Gillette Stadium after just one year, “must pay for the seats for the rest of the contract -- $65,500, plus interest,” according to Saltzman & Finucane of the BOSTON GLOBE. Minihane signed up for two $3,750 seats on the 20-yard line in the Club Level III section for 10 seasons from 2002-2011, and he paid a $7,500 deposit and later made another $2,000 payment toward the fee for the ’02 season. He or his guests attended “all but one of the 2002 preseason and regular-season games at the stadium.” But he made “no further payments to NPS LLC, the developer of the stadium, which then ordered him to pay the rest of the fees.” The court said that the terms “‘may be harsh,’ especially when the ticket owner breaks the contract early in the 10-year agreement, but Minihane hadn’t shown they were ‘unreasonably and grossly disproportionate’” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/16). The ruling overturned a lower-court ruling that said forcing Minihane to pay for the full 10 years was “grossly disproportionate” to the damage suffered by the Patriots. Legal experts said that after paying the remaining $65,500 on the contract, plus interest and legal fees, Minihane’s final price tag “could top $100,000” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/16).

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