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Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Lawsuit filed over Super Bowl seat issues

By Cindy Boren

And now the Super Bowl ticket mess moves to the courts. A law firm in Los Angeles has filed a class-action lawsuit in Dallas on behalf of about 1,000 fans.

The suit, which seeks more than $5 million in travel and ticket reimbursement and damages, names the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and their owner, Jerry Jones, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The suit alleges that the Cowboys put their season-ticket holders in folding chairs with obstructed views and also represents the 400 ticketholders who could not use their seats because guardrails were not in place by kickoff.

"We think that this is a pretty straightforward matter," Michael Avenatti of Eagan Avenatti told Post-Gazette. "People did not obtain what they were told they were going to get."

About 1,250 ticket holders arrived Sunday and found that their seats were not going to be available. Seats for all but 400 were found in the stadium; those 400 watched on a monitor in the stadium and have been offered compensation by the NFL.

"The NFL and Jerry Jones sold something to fans they weren't able to deliver, and they knew they weren't able to deliver it," Avenatti said.

By Cindy Boren  | February 9, 2011; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Super Bowl XLV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: NFL adds second option for fans denied seats at Super Bowl XLV
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What a joke. Where are these lawyers every time an airline seat is overbooked?

Posted by: FLvet | February 9, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting ready for the Superbowl Lawsuit Tailgate parties!
Go fans!

Posted by: shelleybear | February 9, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

How could they possibly represent all of them?

This is probably just a shyster without a client. However, any plaintiff who joins on should be given no compensation, no tickets to next year's Super Bowl, no nothing. Let your lawyer win that in court for you, if he can. And any Cowboys season ticket holder who joins should be deprived of his tickets and barred from the stadium. This is a private enterprise, they can do that. And should!

Take the generous compensation. If you don't want it (and the NFL should give nothing away without a notarized releae), sue, but accept that there will be consequences.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 9, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so the NFL made a mistake. How much does the displaced fans want?

Posted by: GBED989 | February 9, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Nemo and FLvet nail it. Hmmm. 5 million divided by 1,000. Only 5K per person....they will get more selling their tickets for 2011 Super Bowl. The only thing the lawyers see is an ez 2.5 million. They don't care about the displaced fans.

Posted by: khw2 | February 9, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The same thing happened at the last Olympics in Vancouver. After two years of planning and the trip to Canada with 48 hours notice they cancelled our tickets to the Men's and Women's Halfpipe (think Shawn White). The difference is they lied about why. They said the venue was unsafe when in reality they had built the facility and not left room for the 4000 people who had tickets to be there. at least the NFL is owning up to the problem.

Posted by: tahobaines | February 9, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Such nonsense - it is unbelievable what some of these attorneys will do for money.

What should be noted is that Jerry Jones (I am not a fan of JJ in any way shape or form) this was not of his doing.

The entire fiasco is the result of NFL dictates - they take over the stadium and the entire production 2-4 weeks prior to the game - they pay the host team (city) not one cent for the use of the stadium - the NFL receives 100% of the total revenues and then divides it evenly among the 32 teams.

Now, I'll grant you that Jerry wanted to have the largest crowd ever to attend a SB but the NFL had to okay the temp seats that wound up not being erected to standard. My question would be: 'why did they have to have a contractor from New York do the job when there are a dozen here in Dallas/Ft Worth who could have done the job just as well?'

As for the fans, why anyone would pay $800 for a ticket to sit in an end zone and view a football game that would appear to be 'a half mile away' when they were playing in the opposite end zone is beyond my rationale.

If there is a recession it was not apparent here in Arlington last Sunday.

My suggestion, entirely unsolicited, is take 3 times the value, airplane and hotel fare and a ticket to the next SB and shut up.

The law firm will be the only true beneficiary of this 'lawsuit.'

Posted by: dharper2 | February 9, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Are these seats in the stadium, or seats in the rest rooms? That's what happens when you hire writers who flunked Writing 1.101

I raise the question because the half-time show was so "crappy" that I had that on my mind as I read the headline.

Posted by: fregameeate | February 9, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Anybody dumb enough to spend that kind of money on tickets to watch a bunch of overgrown bozos running up and down a field chasing a ball deserves to get screwed. Maybe they should rethink (if that's possible) how they spend their time and money and come up with something that actually means something.

Americans (just like the Romans of olden days) waste the majority of their time and resources on frivolous things that ultimately lead to the destruction of their society. Every day is a holiday, blood lust is rampant, who cares what happens to the next generation of humans. Let's play with our balls!

Posted by: inewsmaster | February 9, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That's why there are sites like ( which allow users to rate seats and read seat reviews at sports venues. These sites can save users time, frustration, and of course, money.

Posted by: general3 | February 9, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

How could they possibly represent all of them?

This is probably just a shyster without a client.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 9, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you have never heard of a class-action suit. Quite easy to represent all or most of them.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 9, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The NFL could have avoided this if they had simply offered to generously compensate the unseated/poorly seated fans for the double the cost of their trip/tickets, meals, and hotel. With all the money the Super Bowel generates for the NFL, this amount, maybe $10 million, wouldn't even be a blip.

But no, the NFL decided to pinch pennies and insult those disenfranchised. So it serves them right. And while J. Jones is to some degree blameless, you can bet he was the one pushing for more seats so he could break the attendance record.

JJ and the NFL; where personal greed and corporate greed intersect.

Posted by: joachim1 | February 9, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I am a dedicated, life-long Cowboy fan, but do not care for Jerry Jones. The Super Bowl should never come back here, because 100s of people did get shafted. Parking lots were charging $500, and since JJ successfully fought mass transit to his shrine in Arlington, people either had to pay ridiculous prices to park or for a cab. They charged people $200 to stand in the parking lot during the game. Any opportunity to make money was realized. As much as I hate the Steelers, I felt sorry for the way their fans were bilked, and I hope JJ and the NFL have to pay for their greedy behavior.

Posted by: franciscomillet | February 9, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Please, let us think before we post. What if this happened to you? You are saying it would not have ticked you off. Take vacation from work the only one you get this year. Airfare to Dallas and $800.00 for the ticket. Then be told oops I'm sorry we do not have a seat for you. Here is a refund for your ticket, have a nice day. Oh by the way we have a big screen TV in a back room so at least you can watch the game now that your here. I would have ended up in jail for kicking the messengers butt! I would have been livid. They should have paid double the ticket and air fare plus set up a four star affair with free food and drinks up front to go with the oops. But no they tried to get off cheap! This is so wrong they deserve to get sued big time. And just maybe next time they will think before they sell tickets to seats they don’t have. Sell the tickets after the seats are ready not before or pay big retribution. Should be fifty million! Sure the lawyer would get 30% (15 million) that is how it works, but the ticket holders would get $35,000.00 each for the inconvenience or in my case bail. And the NFL would not be stupid enough to sell tickets to seats they don’t have next year!!!

Posted by: MickPatriot1 | February 9, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Dallas sucks!

Never miss an opportunity to remind everyone.

Posted by: johnnyboy4 | February 9, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

anyone of u whiners want to sue for the person who disgraced our national anthem?

Posted by: pofinpa | February 9, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

anyone of u whiners want to sue for the person who disgraced our national anthem?

Spoken like a true high roller!

Posted by: Jizel | February 9, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Barn1 wrote:
Apparently you have never heard of a class-action suit. Quite easy to represent all or most of them.
No indeed, it is only when the victims are so many it is impractical to have suits for each. In this case, there are 400, tops. Of those, only some will want to join in the suit, the others will be content with the compensation, or else plan to file suit with another lawyer. I would expect the motion to certify as a class to fail.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 9, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

i wonder what would have happened if this had been the redskins and the superbowl was at fedup field. oh, never be a sb at fedup field. be a long time before the skins make it to a sb. but dan would probably sue those 1250 people for not fitting in. and complaining.

Posted by: bnglfn | February 9, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget to also sue the NFL, the maker of the chairs you were supposed to sit in, the fire marshal, the maker of the fence that held you back like prisoners, etc, etc. And in true A-Rod fashion, sue any network that had the nerve to show you fenced off like a prisoner of war.

Losers. Get over it and move on. Chances are you're a Steeler fan, so you should be thanking Jerry for letting you miss the game.

Posted by: wcasey1 | February 10, 2011 12:32 AM | Report abuse

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