Break-ups are pretty complicated, no matter which way you look at them. However, it seems if there are Montreal Canadiens season tickets involved, things can get real nasty, real quick. This was something ex brother-in-laws Louis Terzopoulos and Petros Sakaris learned the hard way when they ended up in Quebec’s Superior Court for a lawsuit over their much-coveted Canadiens season tickets.
The brothers-by-marriage had been splitting Canadiens season and playoff tickets since 1995, with their first season tickets beginning during the team’s final year at the Montreal Forum. When the Canadiens moved to their current home at the Bell Centre the following year, the brothers scored some of the best seats in the whole stadium for their season tickets. Above the penalty bench, on the center-ice line.
However, in 2014 things took an uncomfortable turn, when Terzopoulos' marriage ended, and the relations between the brothers-in-law fizzled. According to reports, it was then that Sakaris started to refuse to give Terzopoulos access to the tickets, despite the pair having shared them for 19 years.
This month, their dispute ended up in the Quebec Superior Court, where Justice Jeffrey Edwards awarded nearly $45,000 to Terzopoulos, ruling that Sakaris had no right to “unilaterally deny access to the coveted seats.”
The total amount awarded to Terzopoulos was based on the “true value” of the Canadiens season tickets based on such an incredible location in the stadium, and “the prejudice that arises from being deprived of them.”
While Sakaris argued that there had never been any official agreement between the pair to share the tickets, Justice Edwards ruled there was overwhelming evidence to suggest that there had been a deal between the men. Therefore, it was decided the left-out brother should be compensated.
As it turns out, ending up in court overvalued hockey tickets isn’t as rare as you might think. In 2012, Jets season ticket holder, John Longstaff, bought an additional two season tickets for the Jets’ return to the NHL, in a prime section of their home ground. Longstaff was later taken to court by his sister-in-law and his nephew, who alleged that the tickets actually belonged to them.
They attempted to sue Longstaff, and asked the court to award them the ownership of the two coveted tickets, believed to have been worth around $6,000 each, every year.
In 2017, when Donald and Becky McLeod divorced, Becky took Donald to court to take back her share of the two Edmonton Oilers season tickets that they had previously shared for years. In an unusual ruling, the judge decided to make the ex-partners share the tickets, for which there is a long waiting list, with prices ranging up to $16,500.
The judge ordered the ex-couple to consult an Oilers season schedule and then to take turns picking the game they would like to see until all 41 home games were accounted for. An unusual, but sportsman-like ruling.
For the ex brothers-in-law, a ruined friendship, a lawsuit and $45,000 later, their legal battles are still not over. According to Sakaris’s attorney, they plan to appeal the decision and are prepared to face Terzopoulos in court again.