NFL admits responsibility for Super Bowl seating fiasco

The first day of the Super Bowl XLV seating fiasco included a development that should surprise no one.  The NFL has admitted responsibility for the gap between paid tickets and actual seats.

“The NFL let them down.  The NFL takes full responsibility, and the NFL agrees they should be compensated,” defense lawyer Thad Behrens said during opening statements on Monday, per the Dallas Morning News.

The question becomes how that responsibility translates to compensation.  Behrens told the jury that some of the plaintiffs want more than the law entitles them to receive.  He pointed out that one plaintiff spent $35,000 on a charter flight, hotel, hospitality, and tickets.  The plaintiff was forced to move to a different seat, and the plaintiff wants the full $35,000.

Behrens also explained that the NFL has tried to reimburse fans for actual losses, including tickets, airfare, hotel, meals, transportation, and related costs.  While some of the plaintiffs may be overreaching for their out-of-pocket expenses, the plaintiffs undoubtedly are seeking compensation for the annoyance and inconvenience arising from the indignity of traveling to Dallas, showing up at the game, standing in a long line for multiple hours, and ultimately not being given the thing that they believed they were getting when buying the ticket.  Unless the two sides can agree to put a price on that specific aspect of the damages to be paid, the jury will have to decide how much the NFL should pay.

It could be a little.  It could be a lot.  It could be nothing. It could be a number so big that the judge or an appeals court reduces the award.  Regardless, that’s the real battleground in this specific brouhaha.

And that’s why the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Michael Avenatti, is focusing the jury’s attention on the NFL’s alleged “obsession” with setting a Super Bowl attendance record — and on evidence that the NFL realized a “debacle” was looming due to “gross incompetence.”  Those facts and arguments may influence the jury to take money from the NFL and give it to the plaintiffs in this modern-day process of Robin Hood (not Dennis Moore) style wealth redistribution.

41 responses to “NFL admits responsibility for Super Bowl seating fiasco

  1. Now there’s two words you never see used together – “NFL” and “incompetence.”

    Oh, wait.

    Well, at least the lawyers are employed.

  2. Before everyone gobbles up the NFL lawyer’s opening statement, you never know what the $35,000 plaintiff went through.

    Maybe he chartered the plane for a big client he was trying to impress, had great seats to impress the client with and then was stuck in a seat behind a support stancheon. You never know.

    I hope the NFL gets banged. You’re already ripping off customers for that game….the least you can do is not oversell your seat.

  3. How is $35K not that one mans expenses?

    If I spent $35K on getting to and staying at the Super Bowl, only to find out the NFL sold more tickets than they had (probably has to do with other owners selling their tickets for cash and making millions) I’d want every penny I spent back.

  4. The Super Bowls are not cheap for any fan wanting to attend. If I were subjected to such a thing, I would expect at least all of my expenses to be covered, plus a penalty for having to go through all of this.

    This is one of the many reasons that a Super Bowl will never be on my bucket list to get to.

  5. Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Galloping through the sward
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    And his horse Concorde
    He steals from the rich
    And gives to the poor

  6. “The plaintiffs undoubtedly are seeking compensation for the annoyance and inconvenience arising from the indignity of traveling to Dallas.”
    Well said.

  7. Those fans also took time off from work. Vacation hours translate to $$ when one leaves for another job or is laid off. I’m not sure if there’s a lot to do in Dallas outside the Superbowl. I certainly wouldn’t put it on my top 100 list of vacation destinations.

    The NFL originally only offered tickets to a future Superbowl as compensation. Such a low-ball scam should result in a big penalty payout for the plaintiffs.

  8. “The NFL let them down. The NFL takes full responsibility…”

    Who else would be responsible for this mess? The Illuminati? George W. Bush? Obama? Justin Bieber?

    I flatly refuse to give the NFL credit for accepting responsibility. Of course they’re at fault. They beat their chests in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl about what a spectacle it was going to be, and then couldn’t deliver on the most basic requirement of hosting an event. From a PR perspective, they need to fully compensate all fans and move on. God knows they have enough money in reserves to cover it ten times over.

  9. How is $35K not that one mans expenses?
    ———————
    Because if you read the article it included “Hotel and hospitality”

    The fact that he did not have the seat he bought doesn’t mean he should get back all the $$ he spent on booze, macadamia nuts, hotel room massages, and a lear jet to get there.

    He’s entitled to the refund of his ticket. And not much more IMHO.

  10. Some guy spends $35,000 to go to the Super Bowl, still got to see the game (only from a different seat) and now he wants to be compensated the full $35,000 because they moved him to what was undoubtedly a better seat?

    I think we just found someone even greedier than the NFL.

  11. Why is it taking so long to settle this matter? The NFL and Jerruh Jones screwed up but it was the fans who got the shaft in the end and the only winners here are the fatcat lawyers of the NFL and the plantiffs. Years and years of litigation with no firm result is a bunch of bravo sierra and reflects poorly on the NFL and they way that it treats the fanbases of each NFL franchise. The curse of Mark Cuban will one day fall upon the NFL and its stuffed shirt approach to handling what should have been a simple matter but had to end up in the hands of a bunch of grandstanding lawyers and an incompetent and dysfunctional court system.

  12. Usher – you have to sit in a worse seat.

    Fan – that really sucks

    NFL – we screwed up. We will pay for your ticket, air fare, and hotel to any other super bowl

    Fan – well – ok thats fair

    >>The question becomes how that responsibility translates to compensation. Behrens told the jury that some of the plaintiffs want more than the law entitles them to receive. He pointed out that one plaintiff spent $35,000 on a charter flight, hotel, hospitality, and tickets. The plaintiff was forced to move to a different seat, and the plaintiff wants the full $35,000.

  13. We’re all missing the bigger point here!!!!…..

    Is there anything…anything at all that RogGod oversaw this years that didn’t turn into a travesty?……

    RogGod must go!!!!….

  14. Cracks me up.
    Everyone commenting on this article.. prevailing thought is “The NFL is Rich so they should pay back every person a million dollars for their inconvenience.

    Perfect example of the problem with America and our entitlement attitude.

  15. It could be a number so big that the judge or an appeals court reduces the award.

    ———————————-

    Never understood this. Why even have a jury in the first place?

  16. Just for those who have forgotten, or do not know, the shortage of seats was due to the fire marshal not allowing the use of some of the “temporary” seats set up in the end zones. If the aforementioned guy($35000) got another seat, it about had to be a better one.

  17. Hope the league gets absolutely slammed.

    For most people going to see their team in the SB is a once in a lifetime experience. That is worth far more than simple compensation for their expenses. Especially when you consider that most teams do not get back to the big game any time soon.

    The league should be forced to pay bigtime for their massive greed and cheating these people

  18. I think it’s sad how you greedy consumers wants to take money from a non-profit organization like the NFL. For shame, all of you. Can you imagine the suffering if Roger Goodell’s salary was directly impacted by this payout? My god, it could go from $45M to, like $40M in the space of one year!

    Please help avert this potential tragedy by agreeing that compensation should be limited to replacement tickets for the first Browns pre-season game of the 2015/2016 season.

    Thank you.

  19. Yet again the NFL proves incompetent. The Roger Goodell era needs to come to a close before he brings down the whole organization. Look at the fiasco with the five plus week investigation of underinflated footballs. It’s not just the whole investigation, it’s all the info leaks to the media, the lies reported as truth, and the fact that one of the best teams in the league has been dragged through the mud, yet again, for something totally ridiculous.

  20. You can get a full refund plus all expenses paid to the next Super Bowl or….

    You get to punch Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones in the face.

  21. sadsackashizz says:
    Mar 3, 2015 12:05 PM

    It could be a number so big that the judge or an appeals court reduces the award.

    ———————————-

    Never understood this. Why even have a jury in the first place?
    __________________________

    Because such awards are typically based on emotion and not a representative of actual damages done. Meaning the jury disregarded instructions in reaching their decision on the amount.

  22. Funny, during this seating fiasco I don’t recall hearing the name Bill Bidwell once. Yet in the previous seating fiasco, Jerry Jones’s name was mentioned in every sentence of every article. The first time it was jerry’s fault, now it’s the NFL’s fault. Got to love the media. Not.

  23. Should have never gotten this far. Greedy NFL please meet Greedy and Inconvenienced Fans!

  24. Don’t forget to compensate for lost wages resulting from any time the ticket holder took off from work to attend…

  25. Blah blah blah… “NFL too rich and greedy”
    Blah blah blah… “Roger “GODell” is evil
    Blah blah blah… “NFL is incompetent”

    Meanwhile you all spend your time on this blog and watch the NFL on TV and DirecTV and spend $$ on tickets and merchandise and fund the very thing you complain about.

  26. What about the fans who who got robbed for this last super bowl? I got a ticket for $2,500 only to get told there was no ticket and the company was gonna sue the NFL and PayPal but they did give a full refund. I had my Hotel and parking, etc already. Thankfully it was 8 days before the SB and I found similar ticket through a major ticket broker for $5,200. Sad part when I got to the game there were DOZENS of families with signs saying they got swindled and had no tickets. Pretty sad to see.

  27. kd75 says: Mar 3, 2015 1:54 PM

    Don’t forget to compensate for lost wages resulting from any time the ticket holder took off from work to attend…

    —————————
    I’m not following exactly. Are you saying these people were not let into the game at all? Or simply did not get the seats they thought they had purchased?

    **IF** they were not even given entrance, then I agree.. they should be compensated for the entire trip.. **IF** it was in fact the NFLs fault (and not the fault of a customer who foolishly bought a bogus ticket from a fraudster.

  28. It amazes me how such a huge organization can continually be incompetent. But I guess you don’t have to take any responsibility when you only make $44M annually.

  29. Got to love the people continually blaming Jerry Jones.
    1. Jones does not own AT&T Stadium. He is a tenant. It is owned by the City of Arlington.
    2. The stadium set up is not the responsibility of the host team. It is the responsibility of the NFL.
    3. The NFL receives the venue RENT FREE.
    4. The NFL gets ALL ticket revenue.
    5. It was an NFL sanctioned contractor who failed to get the temporary seating installed in a timely manner. The temporary seating was NOT the responsibility of Jerry Jones or the Dallas Cowboys.
    6. Perhaps NFL management should have been more focused on game preparations during the time leading up to the game and less focused on the free vacation all the NFL big wigs enjoyed at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii the week before.

  30. The NFL “takes full responsibility” lmao. We only take full responsibility because a court forced us to take it.

    No liar. If you took full responsibility you wouldnt have forced fans to sue your greedy jerks.

    Love how no one else can lie, without major repercussions except lawyers and businesses.

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