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NBA Timberwolves settle Flash Seats lawsuit with fans

More than 2,000 season-ticket holders have reached a legal settlement with the Minnesota Timberwolves over the NBA basketball team’s Flash Seats ticket programme.

A lawsuit filed in the first quarter of 2016 claimed the Timberwolves’ use of Flash Seats, the digital marketplace, makes it too hard for fans to exchange tickets, sell them on the secondary market or even give them away.

With Flash Seats, the Wolves eliminated the use of paper tickets and also added fees and set a resale price minimum of 75 per cent of the ticket’s face value.

The plaintiffs said they were not given adequate notice about changes to ticketing policy, with leading class members GLS Companies of Brooklyn Park and James Mattson claiming to have spent $32,000 and $21,000 respectively on tickets.

As part of the settlement, the Wolves will “grant all season ticket members of record as of August 6, 2015, the right to select a total of six free upper bowl tickets within a group of 10 games from the first half of the 2017-18 regular season” and provide a complimentary tour of the newly-renovated Target Center.

An arbitrator granted preliminary approval on the settlement Monday, which allowed notice to be sent to all members of class affected. Now they can decide whether they want to be a part of the settlement before a final fairness hearing takes place.

In a statement the Timberwolves said: “As we enter this New Era of Timberwolves basketball, both parties felt strongly that it was important to resolve a two-season old dispute and focus on the future.

“Fan safety remains the team’s top priority and the team believes its digital Flash Seats platform helps prevent fraud while also providing the most secure form of entry with the rights to each ticket linked to an individual’s identification.”