New Brunswick man sues NFL over Super Bowl ticket prices
Each year, thousands of enthusiastic football fans purchase coveted Super Bowl tickets that can range from several hundreds to thousands of dollars.
This year, Josh Finkelman, a resident of New Brunswick, sued the National Football League over the sky-high prices of their tickets for the biggest game of the year.
Bruce Nagel, Finkelman’s attorney, said Finkelman bought two Super Bowl XLVIII tickets for $2,000 each — a price steeper than the standard $800 to $1,500.
The cost is only increasing — tickets are now being sold for $4,200, he said.
Nagel said Finkelman argues the NFL violated a provision of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by only making one percent of their approximately 80,000 tickets available to the general public through a lottery.
“This is a violation of New Jersey law,” he said.
Statute 56:8-35.1 states it is against the law for an individual who has access to tickets before the release to the general public to withhold an amount exceeding five percent, according to the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs website.
Nagel claims the NFL does not make 95 percent of the tickets available to the public for the upcoming game.
Joanna Hunter, spokesperson for the NFL, said every ticket the NFL distributes is sold at face value.
“Seventy-five percent of tickets are distributed to the teams, including 35 percent to the two participating teams,” she said. “Teams hold lotteries among their fans. They also retain tickets for their sponsors.”
6.2 percent of the tickets are also split between the host teams, with the remaining 28 teams sharing 33.6 percent from the total, distributing 1.2 percent per team. The league itself retains 25.2 percent, selling the tickets to media members, media partners and sponsors, Hunter said.
The lottery, administered by the NFL, accepts entries for each year’s Super Bowl from Feb. 1 to June 1. Several hundred lucky winners of the lottery are offered the opportunity to buy two tickets at a discounted price, according to the NFL website.
For the 48th Super Bowl, 30,000 people entered the lottery and the league doubled the number of winners to 1,000. The price of a winner’s ticket also dropped from $600 to $500, according to The Star-Ledger.
The tickets given to the hosts of the Super Bowl and the two teams playing in the game are not included in the lottery count, according to the same article.
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Statute 56:8-37 states that any person that is guilty of any violations of the act is also guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
Nagel declined to comment on what a crime of the fourth degree would entail for the NFL.
Despite the complaints being brought against the NFL, the organization remains confident that its policies are compliant with all applicable laws, Hunter said.
“The Super Bowl is one of the world’s most popular events, and we would like for as many fans as possible to attend,” she said. “We can never fulfill all the requests for tickets. The NFL’s Super Bowl ticket distribution process has been in existence for years and is well documented.”
The lawsuit is still being argued in court, Nagel said. It should most likely not have an impact on ticket allocation or sales for the game on Feb. 2, though he hopes it makes a difference in ticket allocation for future Super Bowls.
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