WINNIPEG – How scarce are Winnipeg Jets tickets?
Scarce enough that a family went to court when a deal to split season tickets crumbled.
Queen’s Bench Justice Morris Kaufman ruled Wednesday in favour of Darlene Gibb, the woman who said her brother-in-law reneged on their plan and refused to turn over the tickets as promised.
Kaufman said some of John Longstaff’s statements didn’t make sense.
“It’s clear to me that this was a legal arrangement,” Kaufman said in ordering that the season tickets be transferred to Gibb.
“This was a mutually beneficial contract.”
Longstaff has been a hockey fan since 1973 and, because he had Manitoba Moose season tickets, he was eligible for Jets tickets when they replaced the AHL franchise in the city.
He could have had four and Gibb only wanted two but she testified he had concerns about how long he would be wanting the tickets and opted for only two, agreeing to transfer them to her when that was permitted.
There is a waiting list of 8,000 people who want Jets season tickets so there are strict rules on how ticket holders can transfer them.
Gibb said Longstaff only wanted 10 or 12 tickets a season.
She and her son Ian Gibb paid the $2,000 deposit and her son signed for the long-term commitment True North Sports and Entertainment demanded of all season-ticket holders.
But when the season ended, she says her brother-in-law told her he didn’t want to transfer them and he wasn’t happy with the games he was given.
Kaufman said Longstaff was either confused or making up parts of his story.
He had said there was never a deal to transfer the tickets and the arrangement was only to last one year, with a possible transfer upon his death.
“There clearly is a critical difference between the plaintiff’s version and the defendant’s version. I conclude where the version of Gibb or Ian Gibb conflict with the evidence of Longstaff, I prefer Gibb’s evidence.”
He told the lawyers to work out the transfer arrangements.
Longstaff will continue to get 30 per cent of the tickets or about 12 in a full season and the judge said to make sure some of them are good games.