Class Action News

Super Bowl Ticket Pricing Class Action Back in the Game

Dec. 15, 2017, 10:03 PM

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A proposed class action alleging the National Football League is responsible for inflated Super Bowl ticket prices is back in action after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revived it Dec. 15.

Ticket buyers alleged a causal chain explaining how the NFL’s withholding of tickets ultimately raised prices on the secondary market, Judge Julio M. Fuentes wrote. That’s enough to establish standing to sue, the court said.

This is the second time the Third Circuit has considered the case. In January 2016, it found the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs’ claims were based on conjectural assertions of causation and injury.

Only 1 Percent for Sale

Josh Finkelman bought two tickets to the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey on the resale market for $2,000 apiece. The seats had a face value of $800 each.

He filed a class action against the NFL, alleging that its ticketing practices violated New Jersey’s Ticket Law, which makes it unlawful to withhold more than 5 percent of tickets to an event from sale to the general public.

The NFL distributed 99 percent of Super Bowl tickets to league insiders and only made 1 percent available to members of the general public, who had to enter a lottery for the chance to buy tickets, Finkelman alleges.

This time around, the Third Circuit said Finkelman established standing because he alleged that insiders who get tickets sell them through third-party brokers who are more likely to charge higher prices.

Judges D. Brooks Smith and Leonard P. Stark, sitting by designation from the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, joined the opinion.

Nagel Rice represented the ticket buyers. Fox Rothschild and Haynes & Boone represented the NFL.

The case isFinkelman v. Nat’l Football League, 2017 BL 449256, 3d Cir., No. 16-4087, 12/15/17.

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