Unhappy Super Bowl Ticket Holders File Lawsuits over Seating Fiasco

The <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Super-Bowl-Ticket-Seating-Cancellation-Lawsuit-Lawyer">Super Bowl ticket fiasco has spawned two lawsuits against the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and the team’s owner, Jerry Jones. Both lawsuits seek restitution for Super Bowl Ticket holders who, upon arriving at Cowboys Stadium for Sunday’s championship game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, learned that the seat they had paid for did not exist.

As we’ve reported previously, Cowboys Stadium officials had planned to add 15,000 seats to boost the Cowboys Stadium’s capacity — usually about 81,000 — in an effort to break the Super Bowl attendance record. But 1,250 of those Super Bowl seats were not finished on time, and the fire marshal declared them unsafe. While seats were found for 850 ticket holders, 400 could not be accommodated. Those left seatless were eventually sent away to watch the game elsewhere, or invited to watch the game on televisions inside a club at the stadium.

It was later learned that the NFL and stadium management knew about the seating issues as early as the middle of last week. NFL officials thought they had “a very good shot” at resolving the seat issue, so officials didn’t bother to inform Super Bowl ticket holders until they arrived at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday.

The first lawsuit, a class action complaint filed in federal court in Dallas, Texas yesterday, claims that the NFL and management of Cowboys Stadium breached their contracts with ticketholders by failing to provide promised seats. Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are accused of deception for not telling affected Super Bowl ticket holders about the seat problems until the day of the game. That lawsuit was filed by two Super Bowl ticket holders, one from Pennsylvania and another from Texas. It seeks $5 million on behalf of fans who were denied seats or were assigned temporary seating with obstructed views during Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The second lawsuit was filed today in state court in Dallas County. The plaintiffs, both Packers fans from the Green Bay area, claim they were “damaged by the Defendants’ misrepresentations, omissions, and concealment of the cruel truth, which was that they had been sold tickets for seats that did not exist at the time and that were never to be had.”

The NFL has made an attempt at restitution. Initially, those left seatless were told they would receive triple the face value of their tickets, which comes to $2,400. They were also given free merchandise, food and beverages during the game, and were allowed to go on the field at Cowboys Stadium after the game, the NFL said. On Tuesday, the NFL said they would also be given free transferrable tickets to next year’s Super Bowl. Today, the NFL upped the offer, promising a free, non-transferrable ticket to any future Super Bowl.

But none of those offers have proven satisfactory for many ticket holders. Super Bowl tickets for weeks had been in high demand because the game featured two teams – the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers – with fan bases that are among the most passionate in the NFL. For them, the game was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As a result, many of those turned away at Cowboys Stadium had paid far more than the face value for their Super Bowl ticket. They had also spent additional thousands on transportation, food and lodging – costs some say should also be reimbursed.

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