Judge Passes To Patriots

New England Patriots fans who’ve used StubHub may be in for a surprise. The team has a policy against fans reselling tickets for profit and those who’ve flouted the rules could soon see their tickets revoked.

A Massachusetts judge has approved a motion filed by the team in its ongoing lawsuit against StubHub, forcing the secondary ticketing site to cough up contact information for about 13,000 of its users.

Specifically, the team wants to know which of its fans used the site to "sell, buy or attempt to buy a ticket to a Patriots home game from November 2002 to January 2007," StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis wrote in an e-mail to users.

The company attempted to appeal the motion and exclude "those who ‘purchased’ or ‘offered to purchase’ tickets using the StubHub Web site," according to court documents.

"We take the privacy of our customers very seriously, so we made every effort to appeal this ruling," Tsakalakis said.

However, Superior Court Judge Allan Van Gestel wrote in his decision that the Patriots have a legitimate interest in knowing the identities of customers who don’t follow team rules.

"The Patriots have said that they intend to use the identities of the purchasers and sellers, not only for this case, but also for its own other allegedly legitimate uses such as canceling season ticket of ‘violators’ or reporting to authorities those customers that they deem to be in violation of the Massachusetts anti-scalping law," Van Gestel wrote.

The team filed suit against StubHub last November, claiming the company encourages not only violations of team policy, but also violations of the state’s anti-scalping law.

Massachusetts is one of a handful of remaining states that legislate how much a reseller can tack on to the original price of tickets to a concerts, shows or sporting events, barring markups in excess of $2.

State lawmakers recently passed a bill that would eliminate the $2 cap on ticket resales, and also prohibit any team that sells tickets on the secondary market from restricting where ticket holders would be allowed to resell those tickets, the Boston Globe reported.

But the bill also stipulates that a team that chooses not to get into the resale biz will be allowed to place restrictions limiting what its fans can do with their tickets.

Senator Michael Morrissey told the Globe the Patriots have indicated that even if the state law changes, their no-resale policy will remain the same.

"That’s what their position is," Morrissey said. "I find it a bit refreshing."