The New York Yankees have been sued by ASC Tickets after the Major League Baseball team reclaimed nearly $500,000 worth of tickets, Sports Business Daily reports.

The Maryland-based ticketing firm claims that the Yankees rescinded 52 season tickets on the premise that ASC Tickets had the intention of reselling the tickets.

ASC is seeking $1m in damages, according to Amplify Magazine. The ticket broker purchased the tickets for $440,885 in November and only received an email from the Yankees in February informing the ticket broker their tickets would be revoked and money refunded.

A Bronx County judge granted a temporary restraining order on Tuesday preserving 49 out of the 52 tickets for the time being, according to Amplify.

Lawyers representing ASC claim the Yankees “detest the free market” and backed out of the sale “in order for the Yankees to hoard the tickets for themselves and charge artificially inflated prices to the detriment of (ASC) and the public at large.”

In the email sent to ASC, the Yankees explain the tickets were revoked because the “analytics team has determined that (ASC) buying behaviour does not fit (the Yankee’s) criteria.”

The suit alleges: “The Yankees’ so-called ‘criteria’ concerning Plaintiffs’ ‘buying behavior’ is obviously nothing more than a disguise for their illegal policy of targeting and taking inventory away from ticket resellers.”

ASC also claims the Yankees’ decision to rescind their tickets violates the New York’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, which prohibits venue operators from “restrict[ing] by any means the resale of any tickets included in a subscription or season ticket package as a condition of purchase [or] as a condition to retain such tickets for the duration of the subscription or season ticket package agreement.”

Image: Matt Boulton