Have you ever Wondered – What Happened to the Hawks Fans who Purchased Super Bowl tickets but never received them?
For most football fans in the Pacific Northwest, Super Bowl 49 – which culminated in a goal-line interception depriving the Seahawks of their second-straight world championship – was difficult enough to swallow. But for hundreds of Seahawks fans who traveled to Phoenix hoping to attend the game with tickets they paid for, but that did not actually exist, the pain was twofold.
Many media outlets covered the ticket shortage in early February, detailing stories from Seattle fans who thought they would be attending the big game, only to be disappointed upon reaching Arizona. The Seattle Times, for instance, mentioned three Seahawks fans arrived in Arizona expecting pick up pre-purchased tickets only to be told that brokers could not fulfill their orders, nor could they be immediately reimbursed. Others were offered a 20% additional refund to compensate for the frustration, which still was unsatisfactory to fans excited to watch their favorite team compete for a championship live and in-person.
It wasn’t just the fans who were peeved by ticketing procedures in February; the Seattle Times detailed that NFL players were also frustrated by the delays in receiving tickets for their families and friends.
This is not the first time the NFL has been mired in Super Bowl ticketing controversy. In March 2015, a federal jury awarded $76,000 to seven fans who sued the NFL over a seating fiasco at the 2011 Super Bowl, in which temporary seating promised to hundreds of fans was either unavailable or of obstructed view upon arrival. The fans in that case rejected prior settlement offers of reimbursement and future tickets as compensation, instead taking the case to trial.
Washington State brings suit against Super Bowl ticket company
Similarly, on March 11, 2015, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued New York ticket broker SBTickets.com alleging the company failed to deliver on 60 tickets it sold to Washington residents, totaling a combined $149,000. According to SBTickets.com’s website and email communications, the company described its tickets as “100% Guaranteed, no tricks or gimmicks,” Ferguson alleges. No “tricks or gimmicks” huh? Yeah right, and Tom Brady knew nothing about those deflated balls.
Likewise, the Attorney General claims that for the few tickets SBTickets.com did obtain, the company dispersed to buyers based on who paid the highest price, and that the tickets are only a portion of compensation sought – as many buyers also spent thousands more on travel and lodging. The state is seeking penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, full reimbursement for customers, and an injunction preventing similar practices in the future. As we all know even though someone is told not do something again in the future it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. (i.e. Spy Gate and Deflate Gate).
If you or someone you know experienced the same situation contact the Attorney General’s office and file a consumer complaint. Even if you did not purchase your ticket from SBTickets.com, it is likely their office will have advice as to how to move forward.
And next year when the Seahawks are back in the Super Bowl by your tickets the old fashion way. That is, from a suspicious looking guy with a hand full of tickets standing blocks from the stadium. Ha!