The NBA has been slapped with a $1.25 million lawsuit for allegedly failing to pay rent for its famous New York City store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for the months of April and May.
The Associated Press reports that the owners of 545 Fifth Ave., in a suit filed on Tuesday, were expected to be paid an amount of $625,000 by the NBA. The owners of the New York City building also seek utility payments and more than $20,000 in attorney fees.
Spokesperson of the NBA Mike Bass told the Associated Press that the league is in talks with its landlord to reach an amicable agreement.
He however added that that the claims don’t have merit store because the store has been closed for approximately two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like other retail stores on Fifth Avenue in New York City, the NBA Store was required to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” Bass said.
“Under those circumstances, we don’t believe these claims have any merit. We have attempted, and will continue to attempt, to work directly with our landlord to resolve this matter in a manner that is fair to all parties.”
A version of the suit which was filed in federal court in Manhattan was published online by Law360.com.
According to Law360.com, AMC Theaters was hit with a $7.5 million suit for neglecting to pay up, while Ross Stores is facing a $5.5. million lawsuit and The Gap Inc. is accused of owing $530,000 in unpaid rent.
The NBA isn’t the first major sports entity to face a rent dispute during the pandemic. The municipal management of the Oakland Coliseum claimed last week that the A’s failed to make an annual $1.2 million payment due in April.
“They said because they haven’t used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay,” Coliseum Authority Interim Executive Director Henry Gardner told the Mercury News.