Super Bowl ticket class-action lawyer responds to latest offer

AP

Nine days after the Super Bowl seating debacle, the league has made the first offer that, as to the 400 people who had tickets to the Super Bowl and didn’t actually gain access to the Super Bowl, makes some sense.

The league had offered to pay all expenses incurred by the 400 who didn’t get in or $5,000, whichever is greater.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents the three classes of displaced and/or disgruntled fans who have sued the league, the Cowboys, and owner Jerry Jones, thinks the offer doesn’t go far enough.

“Under pressure from the class action lawsuit, the NFL has yet again revised its ‘offer,'” Avenatti said in a statement sent via e-mail to PFT.  “But the NFL still refuses to fully reimburse the 400 fans 100% for what they paid for their tickets, ALL of their related expenses, plus some other reasonable gesture for these fans missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Nor does the latest ‘offer’ do anything for the other 2,000 fans who were detained and then ‘relocated’ to substandard or obstructed view seats and who missed a substantial part of the game.  Nor does it do anything for the Cowboys Stadium ‘Founders’ who paid over $100,000 for their personal seat licenses only to then placed in temporary, obstructed view seats.  The NFL and its lawyers need to come clean with the fans as to their right to full compensation and sit down with us to fairly resolve this matter.”

As to the 400 who had tickets that, when the time came to get into the game, ended up being as valuable as a handful of beans, we agree.  The offer of expenses-or-$5,000-whichever-is-greater represents a right-church-wrong-pew approach to compensation.  By extending that offer, the league realizes this isn’t a problem that’s solved by saying “I’m sorry” and giving the affected fans a free trip to the future Super Bowl of their choice, or $2,400 and a ticket to next year’s game.  These are wholesale responses to a retail problem, and the only way to fix it is to pay the 400 fans who didn’t get in the full, retail value of the expenses they incurred.  And to give them something else for their trouble.

As to the 2,000 who were detained and/or relocated and/or placed in substandard seating but nevertheless got in the game and the Cowboys’ season-ticket holders who didn’t like the accommodations they received, the concept of “compensation” becomes thornier.  The fact that the league has made an offer to the 2,000 shows that the league realizes something needs to be done.  The question is what that something ultimately should be.

Last week, NFL executive V.P. of business venture and Chief Financial Officer Eric Grubman explained on PFT Live that, given the 103,000-plus who attended the game, the “defect rate” was very small.  He’s right, and now the league needs to make things right with the folks in that very small group.

The fact that the league is dragging its feet on such an obvious problem at a time when public opinion threatens to side with the players in the much broader and far more significant labor dispute boggles the mind.  Then again, maybe we’re simply witnessing the hubris that flows from a level of interest and popularity that has grown continuously since the Colts beat the Giants in the 1956 NFL title game.

Maybe the NFL thinks it can afford to be callous when it comes to a few thousand fans, given that the NFL has millions of them.  Like Homer Simpson said when he noticed that he had lost a few hairs, “There’s plenty more where that came from.”

39 responses to “Super Bowl ticket class-action lawyer responds to latest offer

  1. Sounds like that lawyer doesn’t think it’s enough ’cause there will not be enough to pay HIM if people only get back what they spent. They need to get back 2x what they spent if he’s to get paid like the shyster he might(didn’t say was) be.

  2. If anyone has ever been in a Class Acrion suit – don’t fall for the Attorney bait. This will end up being a million settlement – w/ the attorney getting the million – and the ticket holders w/ get a free slurpee at 7-11.

    Christ – you were at the Super bowl – its a week long event (not 1 game) take your fricken free ticket or $ and move on. Its disgusting that attorneys are involved here.

  3. Usually I hate when lawyers get involved, but these requests are totally warranted. Especially reimbursement for a “once in a lifetime experience.” How you compensate that is a different problem to be solved, but no doubt that should be taken into account.

  4. i can understand the lawyer is looking for his big pay day but i think his repsonse is a little much. treat the 400 with 5k or more is fair, and settle with the others.

  5. This latest offer is tricky.

    Given that the average price for the tickets in the temporary seating section was ~ $2,500, average airfare was $800, 2 nights of hotel was ~$600, that leaves about $1,000 to cover meals and other expenses, with any left over to constitute payment for the lost/ruined SB experience.

    Personally, I would want more (ie expenses plus future SB ticket with all travel expenses) but the jury pool of people who would be willing to give more, if it were to come to trial would likely be very small.

    Nearly everyone agrees all out of pocket expenses should be paid. Finding agreement on the value of the ruined experience is problematic and risky for the 400.

  6. It was this higher calling that brought Avenatti into the legal profession in the first place. The chance to advocate for that class of persons less fortunate than ourselves who are dissedbyfranchise.

  7. I don’t know what shocks me more – that the NFL is attempting to make things right, or that they sold over 400 tickets to regular fans.

  8. Wait, so next time I have to wait in line for a sporting event for more than 15 minutes I can sue and get my money back AFTER I watched the game?

    Thank God for all these blood-sucking lawyers.

  9. Mike, you’re beating a dead horse…those PSL holders were not entitled to caviar and wine with their $1200 tickets…despite the fact that they thought they were.

    The 2000 that maybe missed some of the game are now offered tickets to another SB…and you say that’s unfair? I guess the next time I go to a sporting event and the beer guy blocks my vision for 2 minutes passing a guy a beer I can sue and claim obstructed vision and say my experience was diminished and I need a refund + a moentary compensation.

    But that’s the world you are livin’ in, Mike, not me.

  10. There are two types of people at any Super Bowl, IMHO: Those who can easily afford a $900 ticket and a $20 margarita, and those who scrimp and save to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It seemed that the vast number of the 400 who found themselves seatless on Super Bowl Sunday fell firmly into category number two.

    While the NFL wants to believe that nobody but the high rollers dares to darken the doors of a Super Bowl stadium, they might want to consider that perhaps, that’s not the case. Anyone buying a ticket for next year’s Super Bowl (if it even happens,) that can ill-afford to find themselves out several thousand dollars with a SB ticket that may not work should rethink.

    The NFL’s belief that “there’s more where they came from” is the height of arrogance. Their public image is already damaged by the fact they sold even one ticket to a game that had no corresponding seat. It’s amazing there were no criminal charges.

    Those who love the game have noted that the NFL allegedly stormed out of CBA negotiations over a day early, and none have been scheduled, per other journalists. This is the same thing. Maybe Roger Goodell needs to spend a little more time considering why he believes those who ultimately pay his ten million a year salary overwhelmingly side with the players, and a little less time posturing and ignoring both players and fans.

  11. For the record, everyone who uses the excuse that these fans were denied a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience apparently havent been paying attention…

    The NFL said those who missed the game would be given $2400 and a ticket to next years Super Bowl OR an all expenses paid trip to a Super Bowl of their choice.

    My elementary mind must have confused something. Because a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience would indicate that you could only do it once i.e. a regular guy bagging a supermodel, work for Al Davis, death etc.

    By giving them future tickets and money or lodging and airfare expenses, the NFL is essentially refunding their “once in a lifetime” experience to a later date, essentially making it now a “twice-in-a-lifetime” experience.

    Maybe thats why people are mad? By letting them have another shot they ruined the allure of it all? But what do i know?

    *gets confused and leaves*
    *wanders into Jerry’s World*
    *gets mad its empty*
    *demands the NFL show him a football game*
    *leaves with a handful of tears*

  12. The PSL holder that gave jerry $100,000 and is unhappy with his seat well that has not a thing to do with the NFL that is a jerry issue

    First off what the hell kind of person has $100,000 to toss down the open sewer that is the cowbois

  13. Totally what I’ve been saying all along. If the nfl looses a couple of thousand fans what do they care. There are plenty more. Right Roger? I don’t think this particular issue has anything to do with lawers getting paid. I’m sure that Jerry and Roger’s lawers make more money than most mouthpieces. How about the fans that screwed? That’s the issue… The nfl knows they blew it and they are doing their best to get away with it on the Cheap!

  14. If this goes to settlement the NFL will settle for millions of dollars.

    And after lawyer fees the fans will each get a nice check for the face value of their tickets.

  15. Normally I’d agree with most of the responses here RE: the “bloodsucking lawyers”.

    But since the news came out that Jerry Jones knowingly risked their lives for an attendance figure, I say burn him to the ground.

  16. Not enough! 5K opens the conversation, but you have what was paid, then airfare, hotel, transportation both ways, and some punitive for pain and suffering. I would settle for no less than 10K.

  17. Maybe the NFL thinks it can afford to be callous when it comes to a few thousand fans, given that the NFL has millions of them. Like Homer Simpson said when he noticed that he had lost a few hairs, “There’s plenty more where that came from.”

    “As it is done to my brother, so is it done unto me”

  18. “The NFL’s belief that “there’s more where they came from” is the height of arrogance.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Arrogant of course. But sadly there ARE more where they came from.

  19. A: The way those 400 fans were treated warrents this suit. I say $10,000 ea PLUS two tickets to a SB of their choice.

    B: If I had a $100,000 psl and I couldn’t sit in MY seat for any event, I would be as mad as the 400.

    All you have to do is to put yourself in the places of these fans to understand how they must have felt.

    The suit is very justified.

  20. Can someone add me to that lawsuit? I threw my spaghetti at the TV, because that biotch Aguilera forgot the words to the National anthem and that ended up obstructing my view… I figure $7 dollars for the spaghetti, and $5000 for pain and suffering. $14 dollars for labor of cleaning the TV.

  21. Normally I’d agree with most of the responses here RE: the “bloodsucking lawyers”.

    But since the news came out that Jerry Jones knowingly tried to risk their lives for an attendance figure, I say burn him to the ground.

  22. Gregg posted this third option a few hours ago and said “This third option should satisfy most reasonable fans”.

    WRONG. These aren’t reasonable fans. They are money-hungry hounds. They honestly think they are going to make enough money off of this to retire… or at least buy a new house. They don’t care about recouping all expenses. If they did they would have accepted an offer by now. They are now longer angry about missing the Super Bowl. They are genuinly excited that this happened, because they think they are going to make lots of money from it. And that makes me sick.

    They are going to put some ridiculous “pain and suffering” type pricetag on missing an “opportunity of a lifetime” and try to strike it rich. Sadly, this is what most lawsuits are like nowadays. These people, and their lawyer, make me sick.

  23. I have no sympathy for these fans with regard to what they actually paid for their tickets. Buying tickets on the secondary market assumes 2 inherent risks – A. The tickets aren’t as advertised (e.g. fraudulent, nosebleed instead of lower bowl), and B. A refund is for face value and not price paid.

    This isn’t to say I’m not sympathetic to what happened to these fans, but if the NFL makes its last offer a little better I’m gonna have a hard time not hoping that the fans who refuse it ultimately get stuck with nothing.

  24. “plus some other reasonable gesture for these fans missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

    how about $5? Anything more than what they actually paid is gravy, and the NFL’s latest offer to the 400 is more than fair and will result in some folks getting $5,000 that might have only incurred $1,000 in expenses.

    The bigger issue is why the knucklehead fans and their attorneys actually think a jury of North Texas residents will award a class of plaintiffs presumably comprised mostly of Packers and Steelers fans a large sum of money.

    How can these fans and their attorneys contend with a straight face that SB 45 was a “once in a limftime experience?” The SB happens every year, and SB 50 will likely be back in Arlington. Moreover, the Steelers have been to 8 SBs in my lifetime, and 3 in the last 6 years; and the Packers have been to 5 SBs including 3 in the past 14 years. Those aren’t once in a lifetime figures. A Saints, Jets, Seahawks, Cardinals, Buccaneers, or Panthers fan (to name a few) could make that claim, but not a Packers or Stellers fan.

  25. Unbelievable! “The suit is very justified.” You must be a lawyer… that’s one of the things wrong with this country… everyone thinks they are “entitled” to something.
    Reimbursement of an entire vacation, for the “snafu” of one single event is more than fair. The seating mishap didn’t affect the quality of the meals that were had, the nice hotel room, etc… a replacement ticket to a future game (plus $2400) or $5000 (for expenses)… how is that not fair? I think the NFL should just give the effected people the choice of option #1 and option #2… then everyone gets what they want (ability to get a redo to watch the Superbowl in person or get reimbursed for the vacation they just took)

  26. the problem is all the republican scum bags!
    if a rich person files a lawsuit it’s justified, if it’s an average person their in it for the $$ !!
    get rid of the republican two face scum bags!
    everyone has their RIGHT to a day in court!!!

  27. Yes the way that the NFL is handling this does in fact boggle the mind. It would have been fairly cheap for them to simply do the right thing initially and avoid all of the bad press and hard feeling that their customers the fans have endured at the hands of the league. It seems that the league is doing what historically it has always done in fan matters – playing hardball.
    I say f”em, bring on the class action suits.

  28. @ nothimagain

    So I guess is is okay and no lack of integrity on the NFL’s part, that in my case and the case of many other fans who incountered the seating issues, that we purchased our tickets from the NFL the day before the event? The ticket they sold me was marked up at 5x the face value, to a seat the NFL (the same people who sold the ticket) new a week prior wouldn’t exist.

    So I guess is is okay and no lack of integrity on the NFL’s part that a man in a wheel chair had his seat/spot denied because ad-hoc bleachers were built on top of it, in order to try and beat the attendance record?

    So I guess is is okay and no lack of integrity on the NFL’s part that no tailgating was allowed in the parking lots near the stadium under the guise of “go in and participate in all the fun we have inside for you,” but instead we were run in circles for hours causing many to miss, some, if not all of the game?

    So I guess is is okay and no lack of integrity on the NFL’s part that their personnel treated us rudely and like scum-bags.

    And no, I’m not rich and like many people who went ot this game, I saved and took time off work to go to the game. Yes, the Super Bowl events went on for a week, but like many people, going for a week was not practical with work, nor the monetary investment considering the cost of lodging sue to the Super Bowl.

    Once in Dallas, I was sold a ticket by the NFL Exchange to a seat that they knew wasn’t going to exist. Had the NFL made the issue know in advance, other courses of action could have been pursued, but they didn’t say anything. They told us when we showed up to our seats, then treated us like garbage when we grew tired of being run in circles and lied to.

    The NFL gets a big fat F in it’s handling of this incident. And anyone who thinks the fans are holding out for money due to greed, isn’t one of the fans who were affected and if you were, you’d be singing a different tune. Yes, we could have stayed home and watched it on TV, but we didn’t. We had faith that the NFL was an honorable organization and would act appropriately, rather than acting like scam artists.

  29. Every morning you wake up and everything that follows is a “once in a lifetime experience”.
    At some point people in this society have to stop exaggerating the importance of something or how butthurt they were over it just to make more money.

    They deserve fair compensation such as this final offer and sure even a bit more just for good PR and for the sake of doing the right thing but they DO NOT deserve being put on a pedestal and worshipped for goodness sakes.

  30. I love the “defect rate” excuse – as though ticketholders to the NFL’s most important event of the year are cattle which can be written off. It’s strange that neither this nor the inordinate wait/lines were issues at any prior Super Bowls (including the other post-911 games).

    nothimagain again ignores the fact that the NFL facilitates and profits from the secondary market.

  31. @resqparamedic You said

    “we purchased our tickets from the NFL the day before the event..”

    You are telling me that there were tickets available the day before the game on NFL Exchange? REALLY?

    Ohh and its not like they sold you a ticket for a seat that didn’t exist, there were plans to build that temporary seating, and the plans fell through.

    If it wasnt for those temp seats, then you never would have have the OPPORTUNITY to even go to the game. The extra 20K they fit into the stadium wouldnt hav been able to experience their “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity

    If you really went through SOOO MUCH, then tell us what YOU think is a good settlement, and back that figure up with reasons and receipts… Thats the only way you will win me over… and the most of us here who think some in the lawsuit are just greedy…

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