Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

MetLife Stadium Luxury Suite Holder Wants Out, Jets File Lawsuit

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Yesterday was the official start of free agency.  But the Jets have more on their minds than just who they need to sign.  I am not talking about the upcoming Draft or deciding on how much they need to pamper Mark Sanchez.

Apparently, there are some issues with the Jets trying to get payment on one of their luxury boxes.  John Brennan of The Bergen Record posted an article on NorthJersey.com this past weekend in regard to this matter:

The Jets have filed a million-dollar lawsuit against one of their MetLife Stadium luxury suite holders — a Canadian copper mining company — for alleged failure to pay the bill for their suite last season.

According to the suit filed in Bergen County Superior Court last week, Super Metals Mining Inc. and its chairman, Jack Usman, signed a three-year deal for Luxury Suite 14 last June. The deal was for a total of $1.2 million, including license fees, suite tickets, and reserved parking. Another $100,000 was promised by the defendants in exchange for “certain sponsorship and advertising rights,” the suit alleges.

The Jets contend that a first-year fee of $321,000 was never paid. Seizure of an $80,000 deposit lowered the first-year amount owed to $241,000. The second- and third-year suite fees were $357,000 and $375,000, respectively.

The suit seeks a judgment of $1.1 million plus attorney fees and other litigation expenses.

Jack Usman, President of Super Metals & Mining, Inc. based in Toronto, Canada was very forthcoming about his issues with the Jets.  He was open about his dealings with the Jets, his sales representative, the overall costs, and everything he went though in trying to cancel his agreement even before the end of the season.

This all started when Jack came down to NYC to talk to various investment houses about getting on one of the stock exchanges like the NYSE.  The intent was to take Super Metals & Mining public.  First in Canada, then the United States.

Jack decided to get a luxury box at the new MetLife Stadium.  He wanted a place to take friends and hoped to fund the cost of the box on what he would of made from SM&M going public.

He originally met his Jets luxury suite representative at Del Friscos in NYC.  Pretty upscale place to meet to talk about a stadium box Jack thought .  They even got a limousine for him to take to the restaurant.  Makes one think about getting a luxury suite.

When Jack met the representative for the first time, it was during the day.  He thought it shocking to see her arrive in the shortest black skirt and highest heels he had ever seen.  Plus when she greeted him, she kissed him on the lips.  She according to Jack, was also making subtle advances & overtures to him.  He found this all to be strange as Jack is about 6 foot and 300 pounds.  Jack said even HE would not make advances to himself.

The representative personally drove him home to his residence in NYC.  The subtle remarks were still happening.  The night ended with Jack being told he would receive the contract by mail.

Jack received the contract June 14th.  He needed to send the Jets an $80,000 deposit on the first seasons price of $320,000.  This was not an issue as the $80,000 was paid.

In July, the Jets asked for $18,000 to pay for the 50 Yard Line seats Jack got with the suite.  Great seats by the way.  Then, the remaining $240,000 was due in early September.  Jack found all this was a lot packed into a short timeframe.

Super Metals and Mining never went public.  Holding onto the luxury suite now gets a little harder.

On August 4th, Jack was admitted to the hospital.  His issues had him almost near death.  Seven days later, he broke his foot in eight places.  Jack is now crippled for life.  He will never walk the same way again.  Jack never attended a preseason game as he was dealing with these and other health related issues.

Jack wanted to cancel the box at that point.  He felt with his current health,  how would he enjoy the suite the way he wanted to.  Even the Jets representative came to visit him in the hospital.  Jack said he did give her other payments when she came to the hospital.  It seemed there was more of a care in the suite being paid and sharing her tales of woe rather than how Jack was doing.

Jack decided to go to the opening game against the Cowboys on September 11th.  He was on a mix of pain killers and alcohol.  Jack did not feel right being there as his enjoyment for the suite diminished.

Jack attended three other games but wasn’t up to staying until the end, including Jacksonville (came early to avoid crowd and left at half-time), Miami (came 2nd quarter & left in the 3rd), and forgot the fourth game. He had to drink to kill the pain as his leg had been broken so badly. It still swells like an elephant leg, when walking with a cane more than 1 block.

It was soon after that Jack decided to cancel the suite and terminate his contract.  According to Jack and e mails from the Jets, the Jets agreed to cancel the luxury suite.  The Jets tried to prolong the termination.  Obviously in hopes of retaining that income rather than losing out on over a million dollars.

Jack called his time very displeasing.  Citing the Jets for double billing, lousy suite service, being mis-sold on all fact and representations, antagonistic, and having certain requests unfulfilled .

Jack’s banker received a call from the Jets asking for everything to be paid in full for the season.  Jack said his banker laughed and wondered where they would get it from.

A couple high ranking executives at the Jets from sales & marketing contacted Jack.  They tried to prolong the entire situation.  On October 23rd, the Jets wanted the rest of the payment.  With the company not going public Jack did not have the funds.

There was even an agreement for SM&M and the Jets to do a promotion together.  Thousands of free t shirts, a free trip, and more was to be planned.  This would of cost SM&M close to $100,000.

After all previous payments were made, Jack owed the Jets $104,000 for the season.  Jack has no problem with that.  He does have a problem with them going after payments for the remaining two seasons.

They had months to try and settle with Jack.  He says he was never served with any papers in regarding to the lawsuit.  They agree to let him out of his luxury suite and they still go forward and sue for all three seasons.

Jack wonders how they could do this to a fan.  He even asked me if this is how all potential ticket holders have been treated.  He is not the kind of guy who would have the suite to impress friends or inflate his ego.

In the close to four years I have been covering the story behind the PSLs, season tickets, and new stadium funding, this is the first story I have heard surrounding the luxury boxes.  I have witnessed sales pitches and heard them myself.  I even followed around a representative and potential luxury suite buyer during their open practice in the new stadium.

I never heard anything like what Jack Usman told me.  He wondered if all potential luxury suite buyers get treated that way or only the ones looking to spend a million dollars.  One will never hear of a regular PSL holder being treated that way.  Even if that regular PSL holder is worth several million.  Just because one has the net worth, does not mean they have to show it.

Both sides have their story.  Both sides will have  their day in court.  Jack plans on countersuing the Jets for a sum more than the Jets are seeking.  He does not want the money.  He would rather give it to a charity that benefits children who lost parents on 9/11.  It is more about proving a point than the money.

Contracts are terminated for various reasons.  Sometimes both parties part ways amicably.  Not this time.  One party just wants out.  The other just wants to be paid.

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