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Court sides with Pats in season ticket dispute

BOSTON (Sept. 30, 2005) -- A Connecticut company that sued to have its season ticket privileges restored by the New England Patriots after a male ticket holder was caught using a women's restroom has lost its appeal.

Southington, Conn.-based Yarde Metals had appealed an earlier decision by the Suffolk Superior Court that found the Patriots had the right to rescind the season's tickets.

The tickets were revoked after one of Yarde's guests used a women's restroom during an Oct. 13, 2002, game against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

Yarde Metals sued to regain its six seats. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly ruled that the team was not out of bounds, although he called its decision "Draconian."

Yarde pursued the case, but the state appeals court also sided with the team.

Although the court agreed that the team's decision was "harsh," it ruled that purchasing a season ticket doesn't constitute a contract guaranteeing the ticketholder the right to purchase seasons tickets indefinitely.

"The annual 'automatic and unsolicited' offer from the Patriots to purchase season tickets may not thwart the Patriots' right to revoke ticket privileges for cause which the ticket holder agreed to as part of the season ticket package," the court ruled.

The Patriots had offered Yarde a refund for the remaining tickets for the season.

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