Levine v. Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, Inc.

36 N.Y.S.2d 474 (1942)

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Levine v. Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, Inc.

New York Supreme Court
36 N.Y.S.2d 474 (1942)

Facts

Levine and other ticket brokers (resellers) (plaintiffs) operated state-licensed ticket agencies directly across the street from Ebbetts Field, the home stadium of the Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, Inc. (club) (defendant). The resellers sold tickets to the club’s games, sometimes at prices well above the tickets’ face values. Starting on June 15, 1942, the club attempted to prevent the resellers from doing so by denying admission to anyone attempting to enter the stadium with tickets purchased from a third-party at above face value after publishing its intention to do so in various newspapers. In addition, starting on June 16, the club’s tickets stated that they were nontransferable personal licenses that could not be resold or offered for resale at a premium. The club’s actions required the resellers to refund some customer payments and generally reduced the resellers’ business activity. The resellers sued the club, seeking a temporary injunction against their customers being denied admission to Ebbetts Field. The club defended its actions on the ground that fans became angry when they could buy tickets to in-demand games only at a steep premium from the resellers, particularly because the resellers sold tickets at whatever price the market would bear, which violated state and federal law. Per the club, the resellers’ actions, which fans and the press criticized, harmed its goodwill and business.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kleinfeld, J.)

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