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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Kosher Sports’

Court Upholds Citi Field’s Ban on Sale of Kosher Food on Shabbat

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

A federal appeals court told a kosher hot dog vendor in New York that its agreement with Citi Field precludes it from selling kosher products at the stadium on Shabbat.

Kosher Sports Inc. had a 10-year contract with Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, to sell hot dogs, sausages and other kosher products in the stadium through October 2018. In 2010, the kosher food distributor sued Citi Field operators for preventing its workers from selling their products on Friday nights and Saturdays, and for attempting to stop the company from obtaining a fourth food cart.

In its ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York found that the agreement “did not cover when or where KSI could sell its kosher food products,” and therefore Citi Field was within its rights to restrict sales on the Sabbath. The court also awarded Citi Field $55,000 and rejected Kosher Sports Inc.’s request to reverse a court decision from February 2012 that found the vendor failed to make payments on time.

“KSI had no right under the unambiguous terms of the agreement to sell its products at Citi Field on Fridays and Saturdays,” the court wrote.

The vendor launched its $1 million lawsuit three years ago, claiming that it had lost $500,000 in profits because its stands were not allowed to open during Sabbath games or events. Kosher Sports said it had received permission from kosher-certifying authorities to open the stands to sell food items on the Sabbath, but the rabbi who certifies the stands denied that claim.

Mets First Win of 2012 Is Over Kosher Dogs

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

On Tuesday, Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled that the NY Mets have the right to restrict Kosher Sports Inc. from selling their products on the Jewish Sabbath, citing a contract between the two entities that does not explicitly guarantee weekend sales, the New York Post reports.

Two years ago, Kosher Sports – headed by former Wall Street trader Jonathan Katz – sued the Mets for barring them from selling hot dogs on Friday nights and Saturdays.

The Mets’ point was that selling anything on Shabbat violated the very idea behind the need to eat kosher food, and the team feared an angry reaction from religious Jewish fans, which crowd its bleachers on weekdays (and probably bring their own food anyway – YY).

At one point, during the two years of court hearings, the Mets accused Kosher Sports of secretly recording conversations of executives of stadium concessions behemoth Aramark (which has been dabbling with introducing vegan, organic, and kosher food to its customers) – and then hiding the recordings from a federal judge.

Judge Weinstein threw out Kosher Sports’ lawsuit against the Mets, and ruled that the hot dog vendor could be liable for damages because it stopped paying the required annual fees to the ball-club.

Kosher Food Vendor Suing the Mets

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The New York Daily News reports that Kosher Sports Inc., which “introduces the quality of Glatt Kosher food to professional sports and entertainment venues throughout the country” (as stated on their website), has hired the high-powered law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (of Gore v. Bush, Florida, circa 2000) in its upcoming court battle with the NY Mets over selling hot dogs at Citi Field on the Jewish Sabbath.

Kosher Sports filed a breach-of-contract suit against the Mets nearly two years ago after the team banned it from selling kosher food during Friday night and Saturday home games — a move the vendor says caused it to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits.

The kosher food vendor had signed a 10-year, $725,000 contract to sell glatt kosher Abeles and Heymann hot dogs, sausages, knishes, pretzels, and peanuts at Mets home games, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The case is set for trial this month. (Obviously, the pretzels and the peanuts do not qualify as “glatt,” which is a term used exclusively in the processing of meat – YY)

Top team officials in the Mets organization were apparently concerned about “undermined credibility with Sabbath-observing” fans, the court papers filed by the vendor charge. Simply put, no matter how kosher the meat was when you bought it, once you cooked it on Shabbat – observant Jews won’t touch it.

Two years ago, according to the New York Post, Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann, who monitors Kosher Sports’ compliance with Kashrut laws, denied giving the company the OK to operate on the Sabbath.

“There’s no way they can be kosher if they operate on Friday nights and Saturdays,” said Rabbi Shmuel Heinemann.

It does bring to mind a different question: If you go out to the ballgame on a Friday night instead of hitting the nearest shul for Kabbalat Shabbat, why would you need your hot dogs to be kosher?

The company states that its products are under the strict kosher supervision of the Star-K. But the kosher certification service website does not list a current hechsher for the Citi Field outlet. It does list a certification good only through October 31, 2011.

Kosher Sports, Inc. served “an all-star menu” at the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. CEO Jonathan Katz proudly stated that it was the first time “a glatt kosher food offering” was present at the Pro Bowl or the Super Bowl.

KSI is no stranger at big events, having served glatt kosher food at professional sports and entertainment venues since 2003. Those included until recently the Mets’ Citi Field, as well as the US Open Tennis Championships, M&T Bank Stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, Land Shark Stadium, Prudential Center, and Oriole Park.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/kosher-food-vendor-suing-the-mets/2012/02/21/

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