June 23, 2010
The Worst Contract You'll Ever Adhere To...
Have you taken a look at your Mets ticket stub lately? The face of the ticket outright precludes rainchecks for games canceled by weather. The flip side is riddled with six paragraphs of miniaturized print. With the assistance of a magnifying glass the seatholder learns - among many other things, and after purchase - that he is prohibited from aiding in the transmission of "any information about the event", that smoking is permitted in designated areas only, that the event date/time are subject to change, that "noisemaking devices" are prohibited, and that he assumes "all risk, danger and injury incidental to the game of baseball" even if occurring in the parking lot.
Upon arrival at CitiField, the ticketholder learns that smoking is outright prohibited, that his ticket may not allow access to certain restaurants, escalators, elevators, and stadium levels, or even attendance at batting practice if he wishes to stand in a seating section within 200 feet of the batter.
Golly. I thought these ticket stubs were bad when they attempted to shield club owners from any liability for foul balls proceeding with the G-Force of a comet. Now the adhesion contracts thereon serve to not only eradicate all responsibility but also to either validate or cloak the class warfare occasioned by costly stadiums that have embarrassingly overestimated demand. See Ken Belson, "Despite Success at Home, Something's Missing for Mets," NY Times, June 5, 2010 (noting that attendance at CitiField is down 15% this year).
As the Orwellian division of fans attending (and astronomical prices for) professional baseball proliferate, perhaps the law needs to catch up. One thought is to extend New York's 3-day right to cancel to cover tickets purchased online (which often take more than three days to arrive). Maybe each ticket needs an incorporation by reference clause to a website clearly detailing ALL terms and conditions. Personally, I'd like to see a creative Federal Reserve come down on the undisclosed parking fees: Nineteen dollars to park at CitiField is surely just as surprising as a credit card late fee for twenty five.
June 23, 2010 | Permalink