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Super Bowl Ticket Suit Dies at 3rd Circuit

Any football fan knows that attending an NFL game can be a pricey experience. The most recent Super Bowl had an average ticket price somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000. A suit in New Jersey sought to challenge the high prices from the Super Bowl two years ago arguing that there were not enough tickets for public sale.

Plaintiffs sought relief under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, which holds that 95% of available seats be retailed to the public. The lead plaintiff, Josh Finkelman, paid $2,000 for a ticket that had a face value of $800. Mr. Finkelman petitioned the court, claiming the NFL only sold 1 percent of total tickets in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The NFL disagreed with Finkelman, saying it did not sell tickets to the event because general admission tickets were distributed through a lottery system. The court sided with the NFL, finding a handful of problems with the plaintiff's claims. First, another lead plaintiff, Mr. Hoch-Parker did not buy tickets to the event. Since he did not buy tickets, the court reasoned, Mr. Hoch-Parker, lacked standing. Moreover, the court found that there was no causation between the NFL's policies and the increased price Mr. Finkelman paid for his ticket. The court called Mr. Finkelman's injury self-inflicted because he did not participate in the lottery for general admission tickets, and he voluntarily entered into an arrangement to pay $2,000 for a Super Bowl ticket.

The plaintiffs subsequently tried to appeal the District Court's decision, but the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear the case.

The legal team at SFMS has significant experience litigating class action matters. If you have any questions regarding this subject or this posting, please contact Alec Berin ([email protected]) or Chiharu Sekino ([email protected]). We can also be reached toll-free at (866) 540-5505.

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