Hall of Fame Game settlement offer expires

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As expected, the NFL did not accept the offer to settle the Hall of Fame Game lawsuit for payment of $450 per customer. The offer, made Monday, expired at 12:01 p.m. ET on Friday.

“Unfortunately, [Commissioner Roger] Goodell and the NFL have once again demonstrated that they have little to no use for the fans that actually make the league possible,” lawyer Michael Avenatti said in a statement issued to PFT. “These are the same fans that pay Goodell’s $45 million per year salary and have enriched the owners on average over $1 billion per franchise over the last five years.  The game was cancelled due to gross incompetence — not some weather event or something outside of the control of the league and the Hall of Fame.

“We offered an incredibly reasonable $450 per fan despite the fact that fans on average paid much more than that to go to the game and can seek damages under the law far in excess of $450.  Goodell and the NFL instead would rather pay their lawyers millions.  We have been left with no choice but to fully litigate the case and make the 22,000-plus fans whole.  We especially look forward to reviewing various text messages that we believe will show a conscious disregard for the fans and an effort to defraud them by purposely failing to timely inform them the game had been cancelled with the hope they would spend more money in the hours leading up to the scheduled kickoff.”

The lawsuit has prompted the Hall of Fame to announce an enhanced refund policy that increases compensation beyond the face value of tickets, in exchange for a release of all legal claims. Still, it’s possible the NFL will spend much more than the $10 million or so that the settlement would have cost by choosing to defend the lawsuit on its merits.

Avenatti has instructed Goodell and Hall of Fame President David Baker to preserve their cell phones and other electronic evidence, citing a reason to believe incriminating text messages were generated regarding a conscious decision not to tell customers that the game had been canceled. That could result in an amendment of the current lawsuit to include a claim that fans were deliberately misled so that they would stay in the stadium and buy overpriced food, beer, programs, T-shirts, and other stuff.

60 responses to “Hall of Fame Game settlement offer expires

  1. The NFL is taking advantage of fans and lawyer Michael Avenatti is taking advantage of the situation. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on unless he doing all this work pro bono.

    When I’m at a football game, I consciously make the decision to pregame/tailgate to avoid purchasing food and drinks 300% the regular cost. Fans shouldn’t be reimbursed for spending $25 on three Miller Lites. I don’t want to hear the food and drink excuse.

  2. Soon Roger will be telling us that the game was really played and the fans are making this up.

  3. What’s the over under on how long it takes to settle this case? 7.5 years sound good? I’ll take the over…

  4. As a 50+ year fan, I have always loved football. Now, not so much. The NFL is like WWE, or Fifa to me now. It is all about $$$. The use words like “integrity” or “best interests of the game” or “fans”. But what they really are about is $$$. Whenever anyone from the NFL talks, be it Godell, or Vincent, or Blandino, all I hear is that character from Peanuts that says Wha, wha, wha.

  5. I conclude that it is more probable than not that Goodell was at least generally aware of a scheme to deflate football games.

  6. “That could result in an amendment of the current lawsuit to include a claim that fans were deliberately misled so that they would stay in the stadium and buy overpriced food, beer, programs, T-shirts, and other stuff.”

    Pat McAfee (Colts punter) has a podcast that I listen to, and the day after the game was supposed to be played, he talked about how the players were specifically told not to tell anyone that the game was cancelled because they wanted all the fans to get in the stadium first so that they could announce it.

  7. Under Goodell, the NFL has become an organization that would make Tony Soprano blush. Good luck retrieving those texts. Goodell and Co. probably use burners.

  8. Troy Vincent accepted responsibility, so lets his email and text. Going to be hilarious. His entire staff are his friends that know nothing about football ops.

  9. I never thought I’d say this about an attorney but this guy is my hero today. Heck, I’d PAY $450 to see the look on the face of that red rubber bag full of hot water on Park Ave.

    See Roger, that’s how you do it. You inform someone that you’re taking action instead of sandbagging them into believing they were in compliance then pulling the AHA moment followed by lying in court.

  10. Artificial deadlines. I’ll bet he had them shaking in their boots. He’ll draw another line in the sand, just watch. He is using PFT as a negotiation tool. He has Florio eating out of his hand.

  11. It will end up costing the NFL many times the $450 per proposal and when the dust settles, only the lawyers will have received any money.

    John Q. Fan will be screwed again.

  12. Soon Roger will be telling us that the game was really played and the fans are making this up.
    __________________________________________

    What’s worse is some people (I’m looking at you chippy, beachside, trailerpark, stock market, etc.) will actually believe him.

  13. 13worldchampioinships says:
    Aug 19, 2016 12:40 PM
    When I’m at a football game, I consciously make the decision to pregame/tailgate to avoid purchasing food and drinks 300% the regular cost.
    —————————————————————-
    Seriously dude??? you do that when 3 hrs before the game the odds are there is NO Game…can’t compare.

  14. Nor should they.
    This country is full of sniveling babies with their hand out.
    The ‘preseason’ game didn’t happen.
    Suck it up and move on, leaches.

  15. “The NFL is taking advantage of fans and lawyer Michael Avenatti is taking advantage of the situation. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on unless he doing all this work pro bono.

    And the lawyers become richer….”

    He announced days ago he was taking no fees and doing this pro bono.

  16. crush22 says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:07 PM
    Nor should they.
    This country is full of sniveling babies with their hand out.
    The ‘preseason’ game didn’t happen.
    Suck it up and move on, leaches.

    It’s not about ‘preseason’, it’s about people being fed up with the steady stream of lies coming out of Park Ave.

    Let’s put this in term someone from CO can understand.

    You shell out $450 for a couple ounces of “medecine” and you find out you only got 1/2 ounce of oregano. Complaining makes you a sniveling baby?

  17. “Avenatti has instructed Goodell and Hall of Fame President David Baker to preserve their cell phones and other electronic evidence”

    Oh, that’s rich. Dripping with irony…

  18. bobthebillsfan says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:03 PM

    How many tickets are we talking about? $450 times “how many tickets sold” =X I would like to know what X is.
    ————————-

    I read the other day that it was 22,000+, so about $10 Million for the NFL to settle it.

  19. We found out in line outside the stadium @6:40 that the game was cancelled via Twitter … Officially announced at 8:03 at the stadium. All ushers / concession staff were not informed or were great liars.

  20. boogerhut says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:30 PM
    Better off calling Saul.

    ——————————-

    Lol, would that mean we are getting Mike Trautman involved too?

  21. jakers60 says:

    We found out in line outside the stadium @6:40 that the game was cancelled via Twitter …

    ==========================

    are you going to take the HoF offer, or be part of the class action suit?

    please be art of the class action suit…

  22. Sure, the lawyer will probably take a big cut even the fans win but if I was one of the fans, I’d rather get only $50 then let the NFL go as if they did nothing wrong.

  23. theparadoxx82 says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:35 PM

    I hope Goodell destroyed that cell phone…

    Just to watch Pats fans’ heads explode trying to defend it
    ————————-

    Defend what?

  24. If nothing else, this PROVES the NFL looks at pre season games as garbage. You know “it’s just a pre season game is the unspoken logic behind their thinking, yet they still fleece season ticket holders for full price tickets fans have to pay for their two WORTHLESS pre season games so they can line their pockets.
    The NFL treats it’s fans like a disposable commodity and it’s really starting to turn me off.
    Once they move a Super Bowl to another country I will officially be done with them.

  25. I wish instead of a class action, every entitled person filed an indivdual lawsuit and their lawyers triple billed their hours, just so it cost them and piss them off a bit.

  26. about 22,000 tickets, X ends up being around $10million
    —————————————————–

    bobthebillsfan says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:03 PM
    How many tickets are we talking about? $450 times “how many tickets sold” =X I would like to know what X is.

  27. jakers60 says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:35 PM
    We found out in line outside the stadium @6:40 that the game was cancelled via Twitter … Officially announced at 8:03 at the stadium. All ushers / concession staff were not informed or were great liars.
    ____________
    You people act like nobody in the stadium had access to cell phones or no media except for the stadium announcer.
    They knew……

  28. theparadoxx82 says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:35 PM
    I hope Goodell destroyed that cell phone…

    Just to watch Pats fans’ heads explode trying to defend it

    —————————–
    A cell phone has a person’s entire life in it. Lots of sensitive info other than texts and emails. Asking Goodell to give up the phone is not reasonable. He would have to be an idiot to comply. (He’s not) They should ask for the records from the provider for text and email and subpoena those if he won’t give them. Unlike the cell phone contents, the provider records can’t be altered by the user so they are the more reliable source of info anyhow.

    Also, my head is fine thank you for asking. Go Pats!

  29. The NFL screwed up royally and should have settled within those parameters, but I’m pretty sure those HOF game tickets have liability waivers on them that limit liability exposure to a ticket refund (if even that). The fans will win the PR battle, but maybe not the legal war.

  30. crush22 says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:07 PM
    Nor should they.
    This country is full of sniveling babies with their hand out.
    The ‘preseason’ game didn’t happen.
    Suck it up and move on, leaches.

    _______________________________________

    Funny, to me the NFL owners are the leaches in this thing.

  31. Avenatti’s pro bono offer was only for the $450/ticket settlement. That comes off the table when the NFL turned it down. It does work out to a total of approximately $10M. That’s off the table.

    Now, the fun begin. Avenatti was the lawyer who successfully sued the NFL for the Dallas Super Bowl fiasco. (Selling seat with no sight lines, and selling seats that didn’t exist). Ultimate settlement was full cost of ticket plus additional lodging costs, PLUS lawyers fees. This will probably work the same way.

    With the addition of the NFL lawyers cost, plus Avenatti’s fees, plus the settlement costs, this could easily cost the NFL $50M.

  32. myworldurjuslivinit says:
    Aug 19, 2016 1:03 PM
    13worldchampioinships says:
    Aug 19, 2016 12:40 PM
    When I’m at a football game, I consciously make the decision to pregame/tailgate to avoid purchasing food and drinks 300% the regular cost.
    —————————————————————-
    Seriously dude??? you do that when 3 hrs before the game the odds are there is NO Game…can’t compare.

    ———————————————-

    I think you missed my point. But yes, of course I wouldn’t tailgate if the game was cancelled 3 hours before the kickoff.

  33. I heard that Godell’s salary was down this year. He may now have to supplement his income in order to maintain his standard of living. I just don’t understand why he never want’s to settle anything out of court anymore. Perhaps he needs to keep his lawyers working to get a little feed-back. You know, so he can still feed his family.

  34. I have stopped buying anything with an official NFL label on it. I know I still watch my team but Gödel will get zero from me on merchandise sold by them. I truly wish fans would stay away from the stadiums. he has shown once more what type individual he is.

  35. So the question is..when did they know the field was not going to be useable? Actually, we all know the problems in this case any reasonable person could have figured out even a day or two in advance or more. But the HOF/NFL could play with this a little by saying the decision was not until those final couple hours. It would be on the plaintiffs to prove that they decided sooner than that to have such a decision in the final couple hours, or knew that such a decision was inevitable. That’s not easy to do unless they manage to subpoena some communications having that discussion. I think it’s obvious the fans were milked, but they could have some challenges proving it. I believe they have to show fraud, not just negligence.

    What I did find interesting was the NFL deciding to double down and fight it. The settlement would have cost less than the lawyers fees if this goes to the wall, and helped them with the PR issues too. If they fight it and win, they still lose in a way.

  36. “Hey, I know your plane ticket was $500+, your hotel was $200, and your rental car was another $200, along with the $200 game ticket…..so here’s $450 for your troubles.”

    LMAO, that’s “rich”.

  37. I’m in NFL’s side. Crap happens. They got $ back & got to see and meet players. Typical these days “let’s sue!!!”. Losers. I hope they lose even though I disagree with a ton of NFL’s rulings.

  38. That doesn’t sound that unreasonable. That said, if the ticket gives the NFL exemption from paying damages it may be the lawsuit doesn’t have a leg to stand on–aside from making the NFL look bad in the press.

  39. ryanvanslooten says:
    Aug 19, 2016 12:48 PM
    Under Goodell, the NFL has become an organization that would make Tony Soprano blush. Good luck retrieving those texts. Goodell and Co. probably use burners.

    coutre says:
    Aug 19, 2016 12:50 PM
    Troy Vincent accepted responsibility, so lets his email and text. Going to be hilarious. His entire staff are his friends that know nothing about football ops.

    ———————————–

    Actually it’s going to be ironic and interesting a demand for these guy’s cell phones. Is Goodell going to have to admit that it’s in fact not even close to a reasonable request for a person to simply hand over their device (that has far more info in it than just the texts being sought) and force them to get a subpoena? Or they just give the text and email records from the provider (which, unlike the phone, can’t be altered by the user) and admit that’s good enough? Or do they not even give those because they contain so much incriminating info on so many things on so many levels. (Imagine if also revealed in the records was a text that proved the NFL knew about the Ray Rice video all along, or telling someone to knowingly give false info to ESPN about ball deflation, or biggest of all an instruction to knowingly bury CTE info?) Does Goodells cell phone suddenly go missing? Does he stop by Brady’s house and ask to borrow the blender?

  40. sgordon909usdm419 says:
    Aug 19, 2016 4:10 PM

    “Hey, I know your plane ticket was $500+, your hotel was $200, and your rental car was another $200, along with the $200 game ticket…..so here’s $450 for your troubles.”

    LMAO, that’s “rich”.

    _____________________________________

    What’s rich is that someone would pay any of that for a preseason game in Ohio. Seriously I’m sure most of the 22 thousand fans lived close and sure spent a few bucks but not hundreds. $450.00 is likely well beyond what every ticket owner spent to get to the game.

    That’s rick a Lawyer wanting to sue…..love the US. Where liars, cheaters, and ambulance chasers get rich.

  41. The NFL will eat itself or collapse under it’s own bloated weight.

    If it wasn’t for Fantasy Football, it would be dying a much faster death.

  42. Presumably fans who drank beer they purchased at the game venue achieved the desired effect regardless of whether a game was played. In fact, I suspect at least a few would not have noticed a game was not played.

  43. I didn’t go to the game but I did get off my couch and walk all the way over to the TV stand to retrieve the remote. Then I had to walk all the way back to the couch where I pushed three or four buttons before learning the game was cancelled. Isn’t that worth at least a couple of bucks? I mean, I’m really out of shape so that was not easy.

  44. packrule says:
    Aug 19, 2016 5:37 PM

    What’s rich is that someone would pay any of that for a preseason game in Ohio. Seriously I’m sure most of the 22 thousand fans lived close and sure spent a few bucks but not hundreds. $450.00 is likely well beyond what every ticket owner spent to get to the game.

    That’s rick a Lawyer wanting to sue…..love the US. Where liars, cheaters, and ambulance chasers get rich.
    __________________________________

    That’s not true at all, a large contingent did travel there and book hotel rooms. The plane tickets and hotel booking support that.

    I get it you don’t like football. But despite your judgmentalism on others liking it and choosing to spend their money, these folks are no less ripped off if the NFL/HOF continued to take their money and encourage them to spend it if they knew the game wasn’t going to happen. It’s still fraud to take money for a product one knows is never going to get delivered even if you personally don’t care much for the product.

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