Josh Finkelman — and his lawyer — believe that he was forced to spend far too much money for his tickets, because they claim the NFL — who will rake in millions of dollars of revenue from the event — has made just 1 percent of Super Bowl seats available to the general public at face value, reports nj.com.
They claim limiting the availability of tickets was a greedy and clear violation of a provision found in New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act entitled "withholding tickets from sale, prohibited amount." Yesterday, they sued the NFL in federal court in Newark, levying a class action lawsuit with potentially far-reaching implications that attempts to fold in a giant cross-section of disgruntled fans.
Talk about David vs. Goliath.
While it’s too early to determine the suit’s possible success, the stakes outlined in it appear to be sky high: Bruce Nagel, Finkelman’s lawyer, claims the triple damages sought in the suit could add up to hundreds of millions of dollars. And the 15-page legal document says it’s on behalf of all ticket buyers who have paid more than face amount for their tickets, along with anybody who couldn’t afford to buy tickets in an exorbitant secondary market, but who still wanted them.
"Read the provisions (of the New Jersey statute), they are clear as day," Nagel said yesterday in an interview. "The NFL just blew it. They just didn’t get the fact that there’s law in New Jersey that prohibits what they are doing."
He added, "I don’t think the NFL denies the fact that the Average Joe has no access to the tickets. … They hold a lottery where the general public gets 1 percent."
The NFL, for its part, issued a statement yesterday that read, "Our lawyers will review the complaint and respond accordingly."
Meanwhile, the pertinent subsection of the statute states, "It shall be an unlawful practice for a person, who has access to tickets to an event prior to the tickets’ release for sale to the general public, to withhold those tickets from sale to the general public in an amount exceeding 5% of all available seating for the event."
According to the NFL, the league doles out Super Bowl tickets as follows: The two teams that make the Super Bowl share 35 percent of the tickets; the host teams – this year the Giants and Jets – share 6.2 percent of the tickets; the remaining 28 teams share more than 33 percent of the tickets; and the NFL retains 25 percent of them.
Nagel says he reached the 1 percent figure by relying on "a widely adopted number reached by many independent analyses that have been done," but did not elaborate.