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NFL prefers that Super Bowl ticket lawyers focus on “world peace”

Florio seat

In a refreshingly candid discussion regarding the league’s reaction to the failure of 400 fans who purchased tickets to the Super Bowl to actually gain entry to the Super Bowl, NFL executive V.P. of business ventures and Chief Financial Officer Eric Grubman appeared on Thursday’s ProFootballTalk Live to discuss the situation and its aftermath.  (The full transcript can be seen right here.)

To Grubman’s credit, the league is accepting responsibility for the situation, to a point.  The league, through Grubman, definitely is saying all the right things.  “The way we look at it is we’re the National Football League, we’re presenting the game, these are our fans, and a lot of them are heartbroken and they’re mad,” Grubman said.  “We accept the responsibility for that, and we have to figure out how to get them to give us a second chance.”

Still, the NFL doesn’t seem to be fully embracing the legal consequences arising from the failure to give the fans who paid for Super Bowl tickets the ability to attend the Super Bowl.  The idea of a triple refund and a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI or a ticket plus travel to any future Super Bowl sounds good from a P.R. perspective, but it doesn’t fully account for the league’s true duty to, in our view and apparently the view of Texas law, reimburse the fans for all expenses incurred in making a futile trip to Dallas for a game they didn’t get to actually attend.

In this regard, the league needs to project a bit more contrition.

“Frankly, I’m not surprised at the litigation,” Grubman said.  “But it’s not going to change the fact that we think we need to talk to our fans, tell them we’re sorry, and we need to try to make this better, and not let it happen again.  I do wish people who were filing the lawsuits and the lawyers who are getting so focused on this, I wish they would work on something like world peace because I think we need to keep this in perspective.  Over one hundred and sixty million people watched that game.  It was a great game.  Two fabulous football teams fought it out and one of them won, and it was just a thrill and it was exciting, and over a 100,000 people came to that stadium, so if you look at the defect rate its pretty small, and the NFL strives for 100 percent and that’s why we are doing this because we didn’t provide a great experience to 100 percent of the fans, but keeping a little perspective is probably what I wish the lawyers would do.”

So the message seems to be this:  We’re really, really sorry, and we really wish you’d accept our apology and something less than what we’re legally required to give you after failing to give you the seat that corresponded with your Super Bowl ticket.

Though we admire the league for taking moral responsibility, the league needs to also accept legal responsibility by reimbursing the 400 fans all expenses for their bad experience, and possibly a something more for their trouble, like a ticket to any future Super Bowl.  The sooner the league does that, the sooner the league can close the book on the biggest Super Bowl embarrassment since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake took the stage at halftime.

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39 Responses to “NFL prefers that Super Bowl ticket lawyers focus on “world peace””
  1. efangule says: Feb 10, 2011 2:06 PM

    “something less than what we’re legally required to give you”

    Actually, They aren’t legally responsible to give them anything.

    The two options are good enough. If they don’t like it, don’t take it and have a nice day.

  2. b1unt3d says: Feb 10, 2011 2:10 PM

    ..and that wasn’t an embarrassment.. just an overreaction.

  3. chapnastier says: Feb 10, 2011 2:11 PM

    Whaaa whaaa whaa. They are saying the right things and doing the right things. The fans should be reimburses for all of their costs and thats it. They should be required to provide proof of money spent via receipts and the league should write them a check for those expenses, give them some free stuff, including tickets to any other superbowl of their choice and that should be it.

  4. madtolive5 says: Feb 10, 2011 2:11 PM

    This mixed in with the labor dispute is making the NFL, justifiably or not, looking really greedy.

    The last thing they need is this lingering on during a lockout.

    It is just really bad P.R.

  5. juddgr says: Feb 10, 2011 2:14 PM

    This was a bigger fiasco than Janice Jackson and Justin Timberlake. That only lasted a few seconds and a whole lot less people were caused harm. What this represents something that these people will never for get thier whole life. And the way the NFL and Jerry Jones are talking they beleive they are bigger than GOD. Guess what your not. I don’t know how you settle this but I think the NFL and Jerry needs to be humble not so arrogant!

  6. strategerie says: Feb 10, 2011 2:14 PM

    I’d prefer that the NFL lawyers focus on how they’re going to deal with the double whammy of former players with health issues cut off their insurance as of March 4, evidently, AND the fact they defrauded 1200 fans on Sunday, but hell, multitasking is tough for them.

    Shut up, take your medicine, and write some checks. You screwed up, NFL. OWN IT.

  7. unfkwthabl says: Feb 10, 2011 2:17 PM

    the spokes hole gave a perfectly reasonable answer… and you followed up with a typical lawyer jerk asnwer.

    It wa s a mistake.. they are trying to fix it.. but people want to claim they are now scared of heights and BS to collect a check…

    litigation has benefited society in many ways.. to prevent lead being put in paint as example… but in everyday life.. mistakes happen.. especially when you involve a fire marshal

    Its instances like this that make me fear for my life a s a small business owner.

  8. alanschech says: Feb 10, 2011 2:17 PM

    “world peace”? really? The ticket lawyers are doing what they are supposed to be doing, focusing on protecting their clients, getting them what they deserve.

  9. lasher1650 says: Feb 10, 2011 2:18 PM

    typical attorney, globalize and deflect

  10. sdisme says: Feb 10, 2011 2:20 PM

    Maybe the NFL owners should be working on world peace instead of a lockout.

  11. apdynasty23 says: Feb 10, 2011 2:22 PM

    The NFL, of all entities, should not be talking about maintaining perspective.

    After all, didn’t a bunch of billionaire owners skip out on a meeting today just because they didn’t want to share any of their billions in revenue?

    Pot meet kettle.

  12. apdynasty23 says: Feb 10, 2011 2:23 PM

    They’re publicly fighting over billions while their fans, for the most part, are struggling to stay afloat in a limited job market and skyrocketing costs.

    I think the NFL, too, could use some perspective.

  13. phinfan says: Feb 10, 2011 2:26 PM

    Sanchez is thinking the same thing right about now.

    ‘why can’t we work on world peace instead of worrying about me sleeping with a 17 year old’?

  14. buckybadger says: Feb 10, 2011 2:26 PM

    I bet a lot of people getting sued would wish that lawyer would concentrate on something else. The fact of the matter is what the NFL did is something that would prevent any kind of peace between them and the people they wronged.

    Also the Janet Jackson thing wasn’t anything like this scenario. There the people got more than they bargained for.

  15. dccowboy says: Feb 10, 2011 2:27 PM

    I thought they already offered 3 times the face value of the ticket, a ticket to any future SB, free airfare to that SB, free accommodations at that SB. No offense, but that seems to be pretty generous.

  16. dexterismyhero says: Feb 10, 2011 2:27 PM

    Pay the people you idiots.

    There will never be world peace either you Mr. America Contestant.

  17. soleman50 says: Feb 10, 2011 2:29 PM

    Actually EdFangle they are according to Texas Law. You can’t mislead people, take there money & then not be held responsible for it. Borders on fraud dude, look it up!!!

  18. ndomination says: Feb 10, 2011 2:30 PM

    Easy to say when they weren’t the ones cheated out of seats that they paid for.

  19. angrycorgi says: Feb 10, 2011 2:33 PM

    “The idea of a triple refund and a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI or a ticket plus travel to any future Super Bowl sounds good from a P.R. perspective, but it doesn’t fully account for the league’s true duty to, in our view and apparently the view of Texas law, reimburse the fans for all expenses incurred in making a futile trip to Dallas for a game they didn’t get to actually attend.”

    “apparently the view of Texas law”? Last I heard there hadn’t yet been any court date even set and you’ve already decided what the verdict is? Your “news” articles are dancing on the edge of stupidity as it is, no need to fabricate reality from BS in your head to compound it.

  20. savocabol1 says: Feb 10, 2011 2:34 PM

    The defect rate (assuming 400 people and 105,000 fans total) is 0.38%. Bringing the viewers into this means nothing. No matter how they spin it when even 1 fan gets a shaft we should be in an uproar.

  21. vadog says: Feb 10, 2011 2:35 PM

    I agree with the poster who said that going into a possible lockout, this is lousy PR for the NFL. The one thing that I think the players union and owners can agree on, is that NFL fans have been a bunch of patsies, willing take a whole load of abuse from the NFL! I am not sure that the NFL is providing adequate product (too many lousy games, lousy teams and lousy players) for the amount of money they are earning. If there is a work stoppage in the NFL then expect 400 angry fans to become 4,000,000 angry fans. What will the NFL do to make it up to us??

  22. realitypolice says: Feb 10, 2011 2:37 PM

    I would love you to see you cite the law that requires the NFL to compensate these people for all of their Super Bowl related expenses.

    If someone travels across country to go to a concert that is cancelled at the last minute, is the promoter of the concert legally bound to pay for their flight?

    For the record, I think the league SHOULD reimburse these people for any and all expenses they can prove. But unless Texas law is different from every state I know of (and I doubt it because Texas is notoriously anti-plaintiff and pro-big business), then they are not legally obligated to do so.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I keep finding it harder and harder to believe you were ever a lawyer.

  23. spungy says: Feb 10, 2011 2:43 PM

    World peace? Like being sympathetic to the plight of the people of Tibet? Oh wait, you approved that Groupon Ad. lol

  24. mike83ri says: Feb 10, 2011 2:43 PM

    “Your honor, this lawsuit is frivilous. The Plantiff has no grounds to claim our fault. Afterall, we delivered what we promised to the other 99.9% of our customers!”

    Apparently they’re going with the rock solid defense of ‘if you don’t mess up often, then you don’t mess up at all’.

  25. efangule says: Feb 10, 2011 2:44 PM

    soleman50 says:
    Feb 10, 2011 2:29 PM
    Actually EdFangle they are according to Texas Law. You can’t mislead people, take there money & then not be held responsible for it. Borders on fraud dude, look it up!!!
    —–
    A ticket gives you the ability to get into the stadium. Which they did. It does not guarantee the seat.
    Look it up yourself. It even says that on the back of the ticket that was purchased.

    These people have gotten a VERY fair offer from the NFL. By bringing in lawyers, they probably won’t get half that now. Which is probably what they really deserve because they decided to go the litigation route.

  26. goodjet says: Feb 10, 2011 2:50 PM

    World Peace — Or as Jim Mora might say it – World Peace!! – World Peace!!!! What about just one whole entire family living in peace!! – Lets just start with that!! —- And why the hell would lawyers work towards World Peace anyway when it would probably put like 80% of them out of business — World Peace!! – World Peace!!!!

  27. sowcrates says: Feb 10, 2011 2:55 PM

    Grubman needs to watch “National Lampoon’s Vacation” to get a sense of what these fans went through.

    Okay, so maybe their experience wasn’t THAT bad, but give them some money and give them a second chance.

  28. angrycorgi says: Feb 10, 2011 2:58 PM

    “I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I keep finding it harder and harder to believe you were ever a lawyer.”

    Well, at least you understand why lawyer-ing is not his full-time job anymore. Of course he’s not any better at this one so……

  29. east96st says: Feb 10, 2011 3:09 PM

    realitypolice says: “If someone travels across country to go to a concert that is cancelled at the last minute, is the promoter of the concert legally bound to pay for their flight?”

    Which would be a great example if it was even remotely accurate to what actually happened. 1) Concerts are usually tours and last months. So people have the option to see them in many different locations at different times. Super Bowl – once a year in one location. Most people HAVE to travel. 2) The Super Bowl wasn’t cancelled. It happened. These people bought and paid for seats they were told were legitimate. The NFL knew PRIOR to the game, the seats were not. That’s fraud – not an “act of God” or an unforeseen illness which why many concerts are cancelled. It’s a pretty safe bet that if a concert promoter was hosting a one night only concert in one specific city and sold tickets to seats that didn’t exist to people who lived out of state, he/she would be sued. Why is this hard for you to follow?

  30. darthvincent says: Feb 10, 2011 3:21 PM

    All those tickets in question had a Section, Row, Seat Number assignment on them. That’s part of the contract when purchase was made. That contract was broken by the NFL.

    It’s not any more complicated than that. Last time I checked, when YOU violate a contract YOU don’t get to set the damages award to the offended party.

  31. moswesley says: Feb 10, 2011 3:22 PM

    The NFL should reimburse at triple value of the ticket (if you paid more than that you deserve to eat the rest of the money), travel and lodging (which is easily traceable through receipts), and a set amount for food/incidentals AND provide lodging/travel/incidentals and premium seating to any future Super Bowl.

    These fans ate thousands of dollars in costs and deserve a full refund (which most won’t get because of aftermarket ticket prices) plus punitive damages.

    If the NFL fights unsuccessfully in court (they’ve already admitted fault) it will pay three-fold in punitive damages, plus it’s own lawyer fees anyway.

    This is a small group of people relative to the size of the event. The NFL will settle and move on.

  32. Deb says: Feb 10, 2011 3:49 PM

    This episode perfectly demonstrates how the NFL has lost touch with the rank-and-file fans that built the league into the multi-billion-dollar enterprise it’s become.

    The World League of American Football failed. So now Goodell wants to expand the National Football League beyond U.S. borders despite the logistical issues and overwhelming protests of fans.

    To appease season ticket holders frustrated at having to pay full price for preseason games, the league wants expand to 18 games even if it leads to more injuries, shortened careers, and a strike–despite the overwhelming objections of most fans.

    The league deliberately allowed people to take time off work, fly to Dallas, spend money on food and lodging, and show up at the stadium knowing at least a week in advance that they had no seats. No amount of money will reimburse those Packer fans who missed seeing their time win. Any fan who doesn’t understand that doesn’t understand love of the game. Perhaps these lawsuits will draw attention to what a corporate farce the NFL has become under its current leadership.

    Yes … I’m sure these elitist boobs would rather everyone focus on anything other than how they’re running the nation’s greatest sports league into the ground.

  33. dp222222 says: Feb 10, 2011 4:05 PM

    @ sdisme

    . . . . Oh lord Kumbaya . . . . .

    Amen to that!

  34. vadog says: Feb 10, 2011 4:28 PM

    It would have been nice if the rich celebrities who were at the game would’ve given up their seats to the real football fans who got screwed! Here’s looking at you George and Laura Bush, A-Rod and Cameron, Ron Howard, etc…

    This is what I hate about Super Bowls. They price everything so only the super rich can go. What about the average fan? The ones who support their teams all during the season, for years and years?

  35. jc1958coo says: Feb 10, 2011 4:40 PM

    peace comes at a price! i,ll say 50 grand a piece, out of court settlement!!

  36. dkhhuey says: Feb 10, 2011 4:42 PM

    @Deb

    I hate to say this but when it comes down to the essence of this, the only thing the owners or the NFL care about the fan is separating them from as much as their cash as they can, when they can. They know full well that if the current crowd of sheep don’t want to abide by their demands, they will sweep them clean knowing there is a horde of people behind them waiting to get in.

  37. vietnambob2473 says: Feb 10, 2011 5:29 PM

    What happens if there is no Super Bowl XLVI due to the strike? Do these fans get to sue again and claim more wrongdoing?

  38. Deb says: Feb 10, 2011 5:49 PM

    @dkhhuey …

    True, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be heard if we scream loudly enough. League officials, sports journalists, the NFLPA, and team execs read this site. Some already understand that a strike can set the league back years. Fans don’t want to hear about the rich battling the filthy rich over a bigger piece of a pie we can no longer afford to buy. The NFL will lose viewers and goodwill if there’s a lockout and it won’t come flooding back overnight.

    Goodell’s act is all smoke and mirrors. He makes decisions for their perceived PR value without conducting any research to see if his initiatives can accomplish the desired goals. That kind of sloppy governing will catch up with him eventually if we keep pointing it out.

  39. strokeofgenuis says: Feb 10, 2011 6:01 PM

    I don’t understand all of the fuss, if airlines can do this sort of thing, why not the NFL. Seems fair to me, in fact they should start to charge you to bring purses and bags into the games as well.

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