Motion to Dismiss Filed in Class Action Suit Alleging Manipulation of NFL Ticket Prices

When considering filing a lawsuit against a company or individual, it is advisable to first make sure that you have a strong case. The first things to check are that you are covered under the relevant law and that you have a valid claim for loss of a certain monetary value. It is important to note that deciding not to buy something because the price was too high does not constitute a loss.

Ben Hoch-Parker disagrees. He and Josh Finkelman filed a class action lawsuit against the National Football League for allegedly violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA). The lawsuit alleges that the NFL withholds 99% of its Super Bowl tickets from the general public. According to the lawsuit, the NFL gives 75% of the big game tickets to the 32 NFL teams. Five percent goes to the host team, 17.5% to each team that is represented in the Super Bowl, and the remaining 29 teams each get 1.2% of the tickets. Another 25% of the game tickets are then allegedly given to broadcast networks, media sponsors, the host committee, and other insiders.

Once the NFL’s member clubs have their tickets, the NFL allegedly places no restrictions on the sale of those tickets, allowing the NFL franchises to auction off their ticket allotments to the highest bidding ticket broker. The lawsuit alleges that, “The broker then sells the tickets for exorbitant amounts on the secondary market.”

The lawsuit is filing a claim for this allegedly illegal practice because the NJCFA states that at least 95% of tickets must be sold to the general public. Instead, the lawsuit alleges, every year, the NFL prints “tens of thousands of Super Bowl tickets, yet it only allocates a meager one percent of these tickets for release to the general public through a lottery system, forcing all other fans into a secondary market for the tickets where they must pay substantially more than the ticket’s face value to attend one of the most popular and iconic sports events of the year.”

The lawsuit further alleges that the NFL profits from this system. According to the complaint, the takings from these secondary markets are paid back to the NFL and its franchises in the form of lucrative contracts with secondary ticket buyers who have to purchase tickets of regular season games in bulk in order to secure a much smaller number of Super Bowl tickets.

Despite the fact that Hock-Parker did not buy a ticket and is not a resident of New Jersey (and therefore arguably not protected d by the NJCFA), that hasn’t stopped him from filing a claim. He argues that he suffered a loss of opportunity because the price of tickets had been driven too high for him to purchase one and that his claim is valid under the NJCFA because the NFL conducts business the state of New Jersey.

In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the NFL argued that the lawsuit “represents a challenge to a law considerably older and more tested than the NJCFA – that of supply and demand.”

Our Chicago class action lawyers near Waukegan and Woodstock, IL. bring class action, privacy law and individual consumer rights lawsuits. We bring claims for many types of class action lawsuits for consumer fraud issues and for unpaid overtime, junk fax, privacy rights violations, property damages due to pollution, false advertising and other claims. Super Lawyers has selected our Kane, DuPage and Cook County class action lawyers as among the top 5% in Illinois. Our Chicago class action attorneys only collect our fees if we win or settle your case. For a free consultation call us at our toll free number 630-333-0333 or contact us on the web by clicking here.

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