Toronto Raptors Fan Sues After Losing Courtside Seats

by November 02, 2011

Floor seats in the NBA cost a fortune, and when one is willing to fork over the scratch, one probably expects to have an obstructed view of the action. This Raptors season-ticket holder is headed to court over the matter, reports the Toronto Star: “A Raptors season-ticket holder alleges the team’s owner, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, treated him ‘like dirt’ by installing a new row of premium seats directly in front of his $915 courtside seats. MLSE says the aggrieved fan is a dishonest and cunning scalper. A judge will settle the clash. After a flurry of court filings, unsuccessful mediation and a lengthy discovery process over the past four years, Toronto businessman Mark Michalkoff’s complaint against MLSE is heading to a courtroom. A trial over the dispute is scheduled to start Nov. 15 in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto and is expected to last a week. ‘All we were looking for was for MLSE to say they were sorry, but they didn’t even answer us,’ said Michalkoff, who is suing MLSE for $1.6 million. ‘Then they insult us by calling us scalpers in a counterclaim,’ he told the Star. ‘I’m ready to go to court and have it out. I don’t think there’s anything they can do to stop it now.’ Rajani Kamath, an MLSE spokesperson, declined to comment. However MLSE said in court filings that DLF Solutions Inc. breached its contract because it made a profit off its Raptors tickets. Michalkoff and his company, MLSE said, ‘are ticket brokers. They earn business revenue by reselling the tickets … ‘ MLSE said that reselling of Raptors tickets ‘was deliberate, intentional and done in blatant disregard for MLSE’s rights.’ The unusual dispute began in 2007, shortly after an MLSE executive contacted Michalkoff’s colleague at DLF Solutions Inc. to ask the company whether it wanted to swap two third-row seats for so-called ‘Jack Nicholson’ seats even closer to the action.”