Lone Fan Tackles the N.F.L. Over Super Bowl Ticket Prices

Josh Finkelman, 28, of New Brunswick, N.J., is the Erin Brockovich of Super Bowl tickets: Frustrated by their prices, he filed a class-action lawsuit against the N.F.L.

Comments: 124

  1. Good for him!
    This might be the wake up call that the "non-profit" NFL needs.

  2. NFL itself does not make money, it is the franchises that pull in the revenue and profit off all the ticket sales, merch, etc. NFL is just the regulating body so of course it is a non-profit. That's like calling out the NCAA for being non-profit.

  3. It would be great to find out the people that the the 1% of tickets given to the Jets and Giants went to?????

    Any REGULAR fans get any of those tickets, I know I didn't.

  4. John, the NFL doesn't make money, it prints it for others, who in turn pay them handsomely for it.

  5. Good for Finkelman; it's nice to see him holding up the reputation of Bellaire High for turning out people who know how to use their brains.

    Hope wins - big time.

    After all, most of the mentioned 80,000 tickets will wind up being charged to the American tax-payer as business deductions that lessen corporate profits, on which taxes are paid.

    Hoi polloi fans should have more than 800 tickets (1%) available to fight over.

    Go get 'em !

  6. No doubt it's a great tax write -off. And....... hardly anybody ever buys a damned thing shown on those commercials. The Super Bowl is another way for the corporate frat boys to have a good time and spend the taxpayer money

  7. TWILL59 is another person who is confused. Taxpayers are the people who earn the money. It's all theirs despite what the spendthrift politicians think.

  8. And just think, the price of one of those $18,949 one-ticket Super Bowl packages could maintain an inmate in one of New Jersey's prisons operated by "friends of the Governor" for maybe a month.

  9. Go Finkelman, Go! The percentages speak volumes; 1% for the 99% and 99% for the 1%. I hope the NFL pays dearly and changes it's policy.

  10. Doesn't a plaintiff's victory here just mean the Super Bowl will never return to New Jersey?

  11. That's the added bonus.

  12. BRAVO.

    $1M for a skybox. 2K for nosebleed seats. Athletes who earn hundreds of millions. And a League that doesn't pay taxes.

    What's wrong with this picture?

  13. Only a moron would pay $2000 for bad seats. What chutzpah to pay that price and then sue the league.

  14. Actually it's a great picture. Lots of people earning lots of money. Even more people spending lots of money on something they enjoy. Quite upsetting for the control freak self appointed political correctness police and busy buddy do gooders. A dark day indeed for them. They can't stand freedom. At not for others. P.S. The franchises pay millions in taxes. The league is the equivalent of a trade associations. They typically don't pay taxes.

  15. 1. Only someone who actually bought seats CAN bring this lawsuit. And, I'm sorry, what's wrong with chutzpah?

    2. There are other ideas beside "freedom" embodied in this self-congratulatory capitalist orgy, like obscene greed, deceptive exploitation, and the naked celebration of violent aggression (did you watch "League of Denial," dear Reader? do you root for the tobacco companies?). The amorality of capitalism is truly disgusting. Caveat emptor can't possibly excuse businesspeople from moral responsibility for the consequences of their actions, except legally.

    3. People with zero interest (or less) in football still have to pay the NFL, if they want cable TV.

  16. In Econ 1 in college, we had a case re ticket scalpers- a lesson in demand greatly exceeding supply. If the tickets reach the public through the intermediation of ticket resellers- the resellers would be the mechanism for raising the price while still meeting the 95% rule. But- good try; I hope that his case bears fruit.

  17. Just when one comes to almost total despair, and disgust, there is someone to give one hope. Tomorrow will be one of the most obscene spectacles in American popular culture. Men beating each other up for money. Even worse, fools who will pay from $4,000 to $900,000 for tickets to watch this exercise in sadism. Others will waste their life watching hours of commercials by predatory companies who pretend that they are decent citizen. Tomorrow will also be the day on which more instances of domestic abuse occur than any other day! Thank you Josh Finkelman for, perhaps, beginning a turn away from this obscenity.

  18. The reports of more domestic abuse on Super Bowl Sunday are not true. I just read an article with good citations that debunked this myth, but unfortunately, I do not have them to link.

  19. So I take it you haven't ordered wings to serve in front of your 70 inch flat screen?

  20. This is exciting! What an excellent opportunity to smack the NFL in its wholly and totally opportunistic gob! This league has run away and hid from its fan base like the NBA did in the 90's to cater solely to the high end. Fair enough, but if you mark your product a certain price, yet never make it available for sale at that price, you are perpetrating a fraud and should be held accountable. This league, with its never ending slew of behavioral problems, is never held accountable for anything. Kudos to Mssrs. Finkelman and Nagel for at least shedding light on their re-marketing scheme. I hope he wins!

  21. I wonder what the Romans paid to watch the gladiators kill each other and was there a premium for seats in which one might be splattered in blood.

  22. It was free! It was a perk of being a Roman, paid for by the big wigs to curry favor with the people.

  23. At least nobody got concussions.

  24. The NFL sure ain't Mom or apple pie. Try Standard Oil or U.S. Steel (or, in more modern terms, Walmart or Goldman Sachs.)

  25. While they roll like "Goldman" they are considered a nonprofit with all the benefits that entails.

  26. Absolutely, that comment struck me as odd too.

  27. At least US Steel made something, something you could hold in your hand without getting cancer, something that lasted. None of those other entities has done anything positive for the country, the planet or humanity for a very long while.

  28. This legal contest vastly more exciting than the game may be (even if competitive - marred by hours of commercial interruptions, insipid halftime pop, and mundane fireworks) - and at its core, questions of fundamental ethics the league should address.

  29. Generally agree, though I doubt the judge will permit cheerleaders.

  30. I was a Miami Dolpins season ticket holder in the early 1980's. And with the arrival of Dan Marino was able to attend the game in Palo Alto, CA following the 1984 season. The San Francisco 49'ers were too good. But I had a great time with a 15 yard line ticket halfway up the lower bowl of the stadium. Through the Dolphins I paid the face value of the ticket of 60 dollars. That reasonable amount was about twice the cost of the face value on my season ticket at the Orange Bowl with just about the same location there. 25,000 fans from Miami flew out to the game and an equal number of San Francisco 49'ers fans were there.
    Somehow over the decades since that Super Bowl the NFL rode the popularity of the big game with greater and greater face value prices. They also reduced the participating teams' allotments and set up the system of allowing brokers to resale for much higher prices, instead of letting individuals who wanted to attend the games of buying directly from the league. This model of going for every last dollar has resulted in Mr Finkelman's suit. The NFL equates popularity as a way to charge everyone involved from the network broadcasters, the advertisers, and the fans as much as possible.

  31. Good for him. It's not just the NFL, although it's certainly the most extreme case. It's almost impossible to get reasonably priced tickets (or any tickets in the primary market) for any major event: concerts, shows, etc.

    Sports used to be the culture for the 'everyman' as did music, but it's now become unaffordable to anyone who isn't a Wall Street Bonus Baby or the equivalent.

    When I was a kid in the 1960s, you could sit in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium for 75 cents or in the upper grandstand for $1.35. That's $5.55 and $9.98 in 2013 dollars. In the latter part of the 1960s, you could go to the Fillmore East and see three great rock groups for $3.50 to $5.50. That's $22.22 to $34.91 in 2013 dollars. But it can cost $hundreds for a ticket to a rock show today and far more if you're forced into the resellers market, which you usually are.

    What's especially infuriating about sporting events is that taxpayers have funded those stadiums and organizations like the NFL are exempt from taxes. Yet the typical taxpayer can't afford to go to the games.

    It's amazing there isn't rioting in the streets.

  32. riots??? attending sporting events is not a necessity in life. let's get some perspective here.

  33. It's the people who elect the politicians that provide the taxpayer stadium subsidies. The voters and politicians should bear the brunt of your anger / frustration. Andre from NY is right. This is first world problem. Oh my the cost of live entertainment is prohibitive.

  34. This case is going to get a lot more interesting when the NFL files its first motion to dismiss. If the District Court judge allows the case to go forward as a class action AND rules that the NJ statute regarding public ticket sales is the controlling law (and why wouldn't it be), then Mr. Goodell and his phalanx of overpaid suits are going to have a problem as large as the concussion time bomb that is also just waiting to go off.

  35. "a legal act akin to suing Mom or apple pie"? The NFL is a corporation, and a for-profit one, milking all they can get from a gullible public.

  36. The NFL is a non-profit tax-exempt organization, you know like your local church and they pay no income tax.

  37. the nfl is a nonprofit, tax exempt corporation with great tax breaks! billionaire owners get what they want===money talks.

  38. When demand exceeds supply the price goes up. Adam Smith figured that out long before the NFL. No lawsuit will change that. If this lawsuit is successful, a few more fans may get tickets through the designated ticket seller, but the price will be high, whatever the market will bear.

  39. You're talking about supply & demand in an open marketplace, not in a market rigged by the system to make the most money possible for the few with access. Even if the price is still high wouldn't you prefer the system to be fair to everybody.

  40. It is not an "open" market when you without 95% to 99% of the items from the "market" to inflate prices.

    That is a rigged market, which the N.F.L. enjoys tremendously.

  41. If the NFL loses, it wouldn't force them to change their ticket policy. It would just mean they would tell New Jersey "if you want another Super Bowl, you have to amend your law to match the law in states with more lax ticketing laws."

  42. Between the N.F.L.'s dragging its feet acknowledging the implications of concussions to players - denying liability while, agreeing to pay $765 million to players -, it's non-profit tax exempt status, denying small business owners the right to use the word "Superbowl" hawking there wares, and now what you reveal about sales of Superbowl tickets, it seems football's greed (and political influence) is only surpassed by banks.

  43. i can't understand why someone would waste their energy doing this. I could list 1000 better causes to spend time doing that would actually improve the world.

  44. Bringing dark corners into light is a one fight at a time thing hosted by person or persons.
    Will you take a dark corner yourself and bring it to light as Mr. Finkleman did ?

  45. Did we really need to know that Mr. Finkelman's brother was killed in "a drug deal that went bad"? I thought the inclusion of that information was intrusive, uncalled-for and unnecessary; it had nothing to do with the story. The author could have simply said Mr. Finkelman's brother died at age 16, which is tragic enough.

  46. I think it added useful color: the family has a complicated history with the law. Also, the reporter kind of had to put it in because it gives greater context to the final quote about wanting to take his younger brother to the game.

  47. Deep thanks on behalf of the millions of us who have been raped by ticket agencies and their collusion with venues and producers and scalpers.

    We recently tried to get tickets to take a grand daughter to a performance of Wicked in Pittsburgh in January. They were on sale through agencies in the fall but not through the theater until early November. We started with the agencies and halted when we found that three tickets would cost us well over 300 dollars PLUS the "convenience fee which added another nearly 30% to the cost. Worse yet, you had no idea where your seats were until after you gave them your credit card information.

    We waited until November and went through the theater....started at 9 in the morning and used three different lines continually calling. Got through once early and got hung up on....got through after an hour and got three tickets at about $325.

    The only fair and honest way to handle these is through a lottery. You decide what section you want to be in and when and it is luck of the draw whether you get in. If there were justice, the states would be prosecuting the agencies and the venues for price fixing and collusion.

  48. Dweb oh the horror! Business people in business for making money. Maybe the only "fair" way is for they to pay you to attend the performance. Who held the gun to your head and forced to buy the tickets?

  49. I don't understand what you are upset about. You purchased tickets on the day they went on sale and got them for face value. Sure, it took a little while, but that's because others were calling, too. I'm not sure what you think was so terrible about what happened.

    I'm betting that the reason the agency didn't tell you the seat locations is because they didn't have the seats yet. They were probably going to buy them on the same day you did. Never buy from agencies if there are seats otherwise available.

  50. Pro sports are about money and only money

  51. When will consumers remember the "power" of the boycott?
    When you CHOOSE to pay excessive prices for Super Bowl tickets you are buying into supply and demand. You can always boycott with your $ and feet.
    There is a big difference between satisfying a want and a need.
    Save your money and watch the game in the comfort of your own home--free food and no long lines to use the restrooms!

  52. Where we voluntarily spend our dollars is the ONLY vote that matters on this whole planet. Our dollars are WAY MORE important than any vote cast in a polling booth

  53. Don't you know the word "boycott" is verboten in print and on TV ….. you never hear it broached anywhere …. Why? because it works, ….it's the only thing capitalists understand ….. consumers hold ALL the power, only they are too stupid and disorganized to see it.

  54. I was amazed to find out that the NFL is legally a "not for profit" organization & pays no taxes. They rake in all that money, play in stadiums built with tax dollars & pay no tax themselves, while holding back tickets to fans to provide profits to their favored ticket vendors.

  55. Not to mention the corporate sponsors who deduct the $900,000 box as a business expense.

  56. I hope Finkelman perseveres. NFL is a big business tax avoiding bully.

  57. Super Bowl 48 is not the first championship in NFL history to be played in cold weather in an open stadium. ALL of the NFL championships were played in cold weather in an open stadium until Super Bowl IV, which was the first Super Bowl that counted as the NFL championship because it was after the merger. The Ice Bowl was the NFL championship. So was the "Greatest Game Ever Played" in Yankee Stadium. This is merely the first Super Bowl played in those conditions, and hopefully it won't be the last. There is no fundamental right to watch football in warm locations.

  58. Super Bowl V was the first Super Bowl played for the NFL championship. In Super Bowl IV was the last AFL-NFL World Championship game. The AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs crushed the NFL Champion Minnesota Vikings, 23-7, to even the series at 2-2.

    Not ALL of the NFL championship games before the merger were played in cold weather. Three were played in Los Angeles and one in Dallas.

  59. I agree... but the cry babies who got rich and don't want to have to do media events in the cool/cold weather are the ones complaining. All this talk about one team getting advantage over another - or performances being affected by the weather are ridiculous. If that's the case - no game should be played outdoors all season since outdoor teams would have an advantage and affect the standings. They should either play all indoors or quit complaining. I agree with you - most cities (as long as they are big enough to handle) should be able to get to host.

  60. It's pretty obvious: the NFL didn't do its homework and Mr. Finkelman caught them. Good for him.

    The league's method for distributing and selling these tickets is a scam, and the New Jersey law anticipated just this kind of scenario. Shame on the other states for not looking out for their consumers.

  61. Governor Christie will probably step up to stop others from scamming NJ. Kinda like eminent domain.

  62. Mr. Finkelman will spend much, much more in attorney's fees during the life-long appeals process than he ever would have on a corporate Superbowl suite. The NFL has only just begun to erode his bank account.

    And me? $40 for a Seahawks logo shaved into my hair, and a front row widescreen TV seat with friends, $0.

  63. With that sort of defeatist attitude, you'd never make a team, had you the skill.

  64. You obviously don't know how class-action lawsuits work. The lawyer for the plaintiff gets 33% and the plaintiff pays the lawyer nothing - win or lose.

  65. First it comes out this week that the NFL is a "non-profit, tax-exempt" organization, like a church?? Are you kidding me? Now this brilliant ambush by a prescient young businessman in NJ, who caught Roger G. with his pants down on this one. The NFL is a lot of things, but non-profit isn't one of them! This whole ticket-selling op is a scam of cosmic proportions, and let's hope this lawsuit at least gets some media legs (doubtful, but one can hope). $2K to sit in freezing wind up in the nosebleeds to watch a game? Only in America! BTW, I'll be watching at home with friends in Florida, 80 degrees and clear sky, right after a gourmet Italian dinner prepared by the host; NO CHARGE!

  66. I must confess. I may start a non-profit. Probably in Florida. Maybe the governor there would be on the board.

  67. This is SOP for many high interest events. It is time for it to stop. Stub Hub and the ilk have simply legalized and apparently in many peoples' minds legitimized scalping.

  68. Through Stub Hub anyone can become a scalper, not just criminals, that's why it is appealing.

  69. "...a legal act akin to suing Mom or Apple Pie..." How about a legal act akin to suing the Vatican, the church hierarchy of the 21st Century opiate of the (American) people...at least the men.

  70. There is no oversight for non-profits except for the IRS. Not true for private corporations. The fact that the NFL is a non-profit with revenue at nearly 10 Billion dollars is absurd. Why are they tax exempt?

  71. I'm watching the Puppy Bowl.

  72. Me too, and the Kitty Halftime Show!

  73. Watching the NFL is voluntary.

  74. The nearly 1 billion in taxes we pay to support the NFL as a tax-free enterprise is NOT voluntary.

  75. The tax-exempt and monopoly exemptions the NFL has been given are not voluntary. These extraordinary benefits have been granted by the elected representatives of the people of the United States because it is in the best interests of United States, or at least some very very small slice of the people.

  76. Doesn't exempt the NFL from the NJ statute.

  77. Good luck to Mr. Finkelman, whose suit isn't unlike others over the years that have taken on the concert business and various secondary-ticket-sellers. Ultimately the market bears what it bears, but yes, organizations should at least make the majority of their tickets available for initial, above-board sale.
    What I wonder though about Mr. Finkelman and others who attend NFL games - particularly this one- is why they're O.K. paying ANY amount to be treated with such contempt? Today upon entreating the stadium, he'll be greeted not like a valued customer who just spent $4000-plus, but more like a criminal. He'll be forced through a pat down and metal detector; his meager belongings (what remains of what he's allowed to even carry anymore) riffled through by the usual know-nothing rent-a-cops; he's no longer permitted a camera bag; the wife can't bring a standard purse; their few worldlies must be brought in clear ziplock-style bags, sorta like felons being processed into jail. His dignity will be checked again at the snackbar, when workers will remove and keep the cap from his $8 water bottle. Can't have the inmates in this multi-sq-mile paranoid lockdown throwing caps around. He'll be gouged at every other turn from parking to Gatorade to the X-rayed food -- and in the end will have seen very little (compared to TV). Then he'll battle hellacious traffic. For 4G the corporation I'm paying should respect me - not suspect me. Otherwise I'm never going back.

  78. I still have a question about the taxes the resellers have to pay. If I am one of the lucky people to get a $500 ticket and I resell it on Stubhub for $2,500 thats a $2,000 short term capital gain that should be reported to the IRS and taxed at 50% (?). That means the reseller owes $1,000 in taxes, if 1,000 people resell their tickets that's $1,000,000 in uncollected capital gain taxes uncollected!

    Remember this sort of reselling happens everyday which means that there must be hundreds of millions of undeclared short term capital gains and uncollected taxes on Stubhub sales.

    Stubhub is no different than the NYSE except instead of stocks they sell tickets. People speculate on the ticket prices and resell them without ever having to report the capital gains.

  79. We can certainly give Mr. Finkleman an "A" for his efforts, but then again. there is no Easter bunny or tooth fairy. The Teflon coated NFL will continue to side step, and double speak its way out of this challenge without breaking a sweat. At worst, it will hide behind its well-greased counsel. VIEW THIS BEFORE WATCHING TODAY'S GAME!!

  80. I find the NFL as a tax-exempt organization patently ridiculous, but Mr. Finkleman could have put the whammy on future games held on NJ. Seriously. The secondary revenue brought to the state in the private and public products and services is substantial.

    The host city can gross $150millon in revenues. In addition to that travelers to the game sprinkle that same amount in the neighboring cities along the way in the form of food, fuel and lodging purchases. The State gets a portion of everything. Roughly 7% sales tax on $300mil comes out to $21million for the State. 26% of NJ's budget comes from sales tax. A bump of $21million is a pretty good thing.

    If the sports leagues decide that NJ is too litigious to hold games there…Mr. Finkleman's name will be shortened to Mr. Fink by the torch and pitchfork crowd.

  81. It's unlikely that a future Superbowl wd be played in NJ anyway, since this one was a gift to the teams for building a new stadium, and the state has no other NFL teams that might be similarly rewarded in the future. Moreover, the idea that the money spent on the game and related activities will trickle down to the people of NJ is dubious. Some national and international corporations (hotels, food, fuel, etc.) will make some money, which will go straight to their coffers and doubtless to overseas banks or the stock market. Stock brokers in NYC may pad their excessive incomes a bit, but waitresses and limo drivers will pocket only a few extra dollars. It's degrading to think of the citizens of New Jersey dancing to the tune of corporate moguls just so the latter can indulge in wretched excesses, and $21 M is a mere drop in the state budget's bucket. It's the "dignity" of hosting the big game that New Jerseyans are feeling, and for which they are expected to grovel in thanks.

  82. With all that money coming to NJ ( and all NFL cities on game days it seems) I suggest that all those NFL sports fans stop asking for tax breaks for their teams and tax cuts for themselves. With all that money for such frivolous Sunday ( and weekday !) activities less do something useful with that money.

    rebuild some schools, fund a pre-K class ...or anything that you think is useful.

    The NFL is the rough equivalent to the Roman Coliseum games and we are spectators of civilization in perpetual decline.

  83. However, much of that revenue is not going to New Jersey. Many of the events leading up to the game; Media Day, Radio Row, the fan events, are all being held in New York. All of the media coverage about the game talks about the Superbowl being held in New York, where most of the commentators and fans are staying, even though its being held in New Jersey.

  84. I treat going to a professional team game like buying an expensive gift. It's only when we have friends and relatives from out of town who have never been to a Sox game. Forget the NFL - the crowds are obnoxious and it's freezing or astro turf. Usually I buy through ticket hawkers, because it's last minute and otherwise you don't know what the weather will be and decent seats are a few hundred dollars. Otherwise I sit at home and watch because I don't have to pay a weeks' salary for that.

    Lately we've been looking into farm teams, and I have to tell you, they are great! You can sit right on the floor if you want, even for a modest price. Hot dogs and a coke are not gold plated. It is a family event that is priced for family. Parking is free. I don't know why anyone bothers with pro teams any more. It's so clearly about getting us to hand over our wallets, and it's disgusting. I am glad Finkelman is calling them on this heinous and unprofessional ruination a game that is so often publicly funded.

  85. Ticket scalping is an old, old practice, for which there seems no escape. The demand for Super Bowl tickets simply exceeds the supply, and into that gap step the profiteers. If the league put a $2,000 price on Josh Finkelman's seat in the first place, then NO ticket in the stadium could be bought by those of modest means. As it is, SOME are bought at face value by fans who actually want to see the game, while the bulk go to fat cats and to speculators who make a killing. It would be interesting to try to devise a system whereby all or 95% went to fans. This might involve a lottery of all wanting to buy tix, with a limit of, say, four, with their names printed on them. If they decided not to use one or more ticket, they'd return it for a refund, and a duplicate wd be issued to the next person on the waitlist, with HIS name printed on it. Only the named ticket-holder wd be admitted to the stadium. But this wd require checkers at the gate and some foolproof means of identification, a process that wd slow entry to a crawl (perhaps some new technology cd be developed, with facial-recogniton, to speed things up). Wd we want such a system, just to insure that the "right" people got into the game, when it's so much pleasanter to watch it on TV? Or to thwart scalpers who profit undeservedly? Who, in all this disgusting orgy, "deserves" to profit, or to sit in a cold outdoor seat in February? When you think of it, it's all just a celebration of capitalist war for profit.

  86. Robert Crosman, your tickets scenario already exists. Fans that won the lottery to buy a Super Bowl ticket CANNOT resell the ticket.

    Lottery winners who purchased tickets do not receive a ticket before arriving at the stadium on game day. They arrive at the stadium, go through security to a ticketing agent, and are then issued their ticket. Once receiving their ticket, they CANNOT leave the stadium.

    The NFL is making it so lottery winners cannot resell their tickets, which I don't disagree with. However, the NFL sells a massive numbers of tickets to brokers instead of directly to fans. What's good for the golden goose is not so good for the average gander.

    One more thing: got a ticket to the game and want your wife to drop you off at the stadium? Nope, can't do it. You have to take an NFL-provided shuttle (at $51) or other public transportation.

    Yet this article mentions a broker package that includes black car service to the stadium. A broker that the NFL deals directly with. The repugnancy is thick with the NFL.

  87. I hope he's successful. I'm rooting for Mr. Finkelman. The prices are way over the top and it really seems like a racket.

  88. if he wins, it'll be the last Super Bowl played in NJ

  89. Wow! $962,000 for one of the most expensive corporate suites at the Superbowl!
    Would someone please explain again to me why the NFL holds non-profit status and pays no taxes.

    As for Josh Finkelman's class-action case...the NFL won't be dumb enough to ever let New Jersey host another championship game. Josh wins!

  90. This article begs another question: Why is the very rich and profitable NFL a non-profit?

  91. A legal fight will bring this injustice to light in the discovery phase.

  92. I stopped reading the article when it informed me that the guy bought the tickets for 2 thousand bucks each. The tears in my eyes from laughing at that made it impossible to read the print anymore. I have recovered from that but reading the Sunday comics included in my local print edition paper is much more informative and relevant than attempting to continue to the conclusion of this article. I hope the guy and his date enjoy the game !

  93. Another approach is to ignore the NFL entirely. Watching young men knowing that many will suffer concussion-related disabilities in the not-too-distant future is not entertaining. Knowing that the Super Bowl coincides with (read: causes) a spike in domestic violence makes such an event not worth supporting.

    It's better to go for a walk.

  94. To me this seems to be a frivolous lawsuit, given that it comes after Mr. Finkelman chose to spend a large amount of money for bad seats, and a waste of time for the courts, who have more serious matters to consider. I do empathize with Mr. Finkelman's arguments though. I have long thought that that the NFL should return their championship game to the fans that pay to support the competing teams, and have the game at one of their home stadiums. Of course, that would eliminate the schmoozing, glad-handing and pay-offs to all the influential and the wealthy, so that will never happen.

  95. Not frivolous.
    Time for corporations to be held to the same laws and regulations everyone else has to be held to.
    IT takes someone with vision and tenacity to fight corporations with legal budges in the millions to insure they can be ABOVE THE LAW.

  96. There's a legal theory called "standing," which (very crudely) requires that you must have skin in the game before your suit can be heard. The discussion regarding the extent of the class (those who bought, those who will purchase, and those who couldn't afford to purchase) will most likely turn on the issue of standing. Finkelman likely has standing because he did in fact purchase tickets--so he can claim injury under the statute. It is more difficult to see where the latter two classes of potential litigants can gain standing. So it's not a frivolous suit because he spent the cash. Presumably, the law exists to protect individuals like him.

  97. One of the questions to be litigated is whether the NFL can legally distribute tickets in the manner described. It does not seem unreasonable to have a lottery drawing of face value seats for season ticket holders that favors the host and participating teams. It is one of the perks for purchasing season tickets. Similarly, giving tickets t,o major corporate sponsors and press are necessary for doing business. The problem comes when those fortunate enough to receive tickets at face value resell them at huge markups. The idea of taxing the profit might help to correct the discrepancy; but it might also increase prices as sellers try to recoup some of their new losses.

  98. We all pay for super bowl tickets because of the tax exempt status the nfl enjoys. Whether willing or not, we are forced to support what amounts to a criminal organization. The ticket scam is mild compared with the other offenses of this organization. I'm in support of the suit.

  99. We have to congratulate you Mr. Finkelman!! We hope you will "win"; we have not been to a baseball or football game, let alone a Celtics game and forget the Bruins with all the fighting on the ice, for many years since our children grew up. We did take my brother to a a Red Sox game when he visited here from Europe. The fact the NFL and other leagues have a tax free status is just ridiculous. With the recent law suit against NFL regarding injured players at an amount being shamefully limited and other, previous incidents showing the concern of NFL toward injured players and or football fans in general is shameful. Tickets to any professional sport should be sold on a the first come basis and sold directly by the sports team. All leagues should be under the same law as any other sport and pay taxes as any corporation. We enjoy the farm leagues and go there with our grand children, the seating is "wherever" and the food is affordable; we always have a great time. If you need us as part of the class action suit, write another article.

  100. This sounds like a change.org vote to wake up the NFL (non-profit status federal designated corporation) to what fans really think about high paid players and execs vs. lower paid fans who love the game.

  101. The NFL, as it grows bigger and more profitable year after year, is on a path to kill the golden goose. The average fan is being shut out week after week as Stadiums are built to house those corporate suites where the real money is made. On top of that, throw in the enormous TV money and the NFL could care less what the average fan thinks or does. And, to add insult to injury, many of the Stadiums around the League are funded with taxpayer dollars which, lo & behold, support a League that is itself tax exempt!

    Go for it Josh...and it's about time! Glad to see someone has finally called the NFL out for its arrogant dismissal of its own fan base.

  102. Go Josh! They take public money for their sports palaces, then screw the average Joe so they can serve corporate fat cats. It's a racket. Good for you apply the law to them them on.

  103. "taking the N.F.L. to court, a legal act akin to suing Mom or apple pie."

    Raiderette Lacy T. is suing the Oakland Raiders for back pay; every NFL cheerleader should sue the NFL for their grossly inequitable pay. NFL cheerleaders earn less than minimum wage to do a difficult, highly selective job where their images are used throughout the tv broadcasts that the NFL licenses for millions of dollars.

    The NFL, contrary to their own delusional belief, is not a sacred American institution immune to lawsuits. The are a multi-billion dollar monopoly business operating illegally as a non-profit organization.

  104. A great example of excessive regulation that costs this country billions of dollars and JOBS. Multiply this suit by the 1000s if not 10,000s of frivolous law suits filed every year. They only enrich lawyers. Cheap labor is only one reason companies offshore jobs. Not having to support the bloodsucking legal shakedown cartel not to mention one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world are two more good reasons to offshore. But all is well. Obama will increase the minimum wage on entry level service jobs instead of making a climate for good high paying jobs.

  105. Truly spoken like someone who has never had to try to make a living on a low-paying job. Class privilege is an amazing thing, isn't it?

  106. Meh. Fools and their money are soon parted.

    The NFL, and other "professional" (but somehow not for profit) leagues are modern versions of the Roman games. Keep the plebeians satisfied so they won't rise up against their patrician betters.

    Oh, and for "fans", you are just little piggy banks for the industry to flip upside down to shake out the change they then convert into luxury homes and gated neighborhoods where you'd be arrested if you went for a drive.

    Enjoy the game.

  107. People are enthusiastic fans but.... I would die of embarrassment having it plastered on the front page the NYT that I paid $2K EACH for a ticket to a football game. Nosebleed section no less.

    P.S. For those bemoaning that the NFL is a non profit and pays no taxes the franchisees pay get most of the revenue and pay MILLIONS in taxes. The NFL is basically the league's equivalent of a trade association like National Assoc. of Realtors, or a chamber of commerce or the trial lawyers' association.

  108. No, the NFL league office is NOT like a trade organization.

    The league office only represents a trademark brand, the teams of the NFL. That is wholly different than a group that represents a scattered, loose-knit group of carpenters.

    DO you think that Yum Brands should also be tax exempt? After all, they merely represent KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Surely Yum Brands should merely be seen as a trade association just like the NFL head office, right?

    There should be no tax-exemption for the league office. Now, the NFL's charitable organization DOES enjoy tax-exmpt status, as it should. But the NFL offices at Park Place are strictly for profit, and should be taxed as such.

    I hope Americans smarten up and realize that every one of use pays for these massive salaries, massive stadiums, and the ridiculous tax exempt status the NFL league office enjoys. Burn, NFL, burn!

    Unfortunately, I don't think the courts have the stomach to find against the NFL. The NFL stands to lose hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars, and it isn't often that such major industries lose in court.

  109. People in the USA have never really seen big-boy pro team sports. What we have is watered-down collusion.
    If I had a bit of cash I could buy a really small soccer team in Europe. We would play in front of 2000 fans. If we won our division we would move up to the next league and so on. Through hard work , skill, coaching and luck I could, in a few years, be playing against Chelsea or Bayern (The American Way).
    In the NFL or MLB you have to buy a team and if you run it into the ground you will be punished with top draft picks, revenue sharing and even a new taxpayer-funded arena.

  110. This is a great legal action, go get em.

    The NFL and it's sister league, the NCAA, are evil tax sucking vampires. They try to move teams, which belong to regions or cities, to get a better package of tax breaks and handouts from cities. The league president makes $30M a year, that makes no sense for a nonprofit. They are trying to weasel out of liability for long term player health issues.

    I grew up within walking distance of the HOF and watched Modell move the Browns in the middle of the night from a city that viewed them on par with gods. Now I'm in SF and watched the Niners build a billion dollar subsidized palace and price out the blue collar fans. A building that will get used 10 days a year, when a centrally located stadium could have served the Raiders and the Niners without flushing so many tax dollars down the drain.

    If the league is not at high water they are close. I'm going to enjoy watching the paint start to peel.

    Just listen to the crowd roar at today's game, millionaires don't scream, it is beneath their dignity.

    Take away the non profit status, and the antitrust exemption. Today.

  111. Finkleman will burn the NFL for the costs, that is clear. And, as the NFL fights this, they'll be burned in the press and in the public eye. Hopefully for them, they have corporate stupidity insurance ....

  112. I think it's great that Mr. Finkelman is doing this. It is long overdue and hopefully other people will begin to feel the pain that he felt, and initiate lawsuits as well. In the best of all possible worlds, the next step would be for one of the country's tax payers to wake up one day and ask himself why he has to pay taxes but the NFL doesn't pay a dime. The NFL is just too big, too powerful and too untouchable for its own good.

  113. Finally The Little Guy Can't Be Ignored. The whole thing is seamy and grossly unfair to the fans who support the leagues in good games and bad from the first kick-off to the Super Bowl. The people who can afford the Scalper Priced Tickets, are celebrities interested in being seen more often than seeing the game. The scalpers in this is the National Football League for caring only about the money, and nothing about the fan. I hope it costs them an amount commensurate with that crime. This has been going on for a very long time.

  114. If you are concerned about the price of tickets, DONT buy them. The NFL can charge this much because people like this guy will still buy them. Seriously what's wrong with people?

    Not surprising this day in age you take it to the courts. People feel entitled to everything. Move on with your life, there are much bigger "problems" in this world.

  115. I have always wondered why it's legal to sell sporting tickets, etc. on the secondary market. Isn't this what we used to call scalping? What it almost always means is you pay a multiple of the face value and a Yankees or Giants or Knicks game for a family of four becomes a $1,000 event. The teams shrug it off, but it really is wrong. I hope Mr. Finkelman kicks some butt.

  116. There is such a thing as an honest buck and that's about how much will be earned in such an exchange.

  117. no really a lone fan, but one of the few who got media attention about this scam.

  118. Back a number of years ago I can recall reading a book on the business of sports and notwithstanding the Super Bowl, in the NFL, even with regular sellouts, revenue generation from the sale of tickets to "Joe Average" ticket buyer was becoming a smaller and smaller portion of the total overall revenue package the team/league receives. It has been said by some and perhaps maybe it is not that far fetched, that the next generation of stadiums might just consist totally of private boxes.

    With a league that is now approaching or at the 9 billion dollar level in worth primarily generated from television, corporate and advertising revenue, I doubt very much that they will give much thought to the concerns of Mr. Finkelman.

  119. This math doesn't work.

    "First, 75 percent are distributed among the N.F.L.’s 32 teams, with 17.5 percent given to each team playing in the game and about 6 percent given to the host team (or teams, in this instance, with the Giants and the Jets splitting that allotment). Another 25 percent are kept by the league itself and are given to officials, the media and important corporate sponsors. That leaves just 1 percent or so for ordinary fans like Mr. Finkelman."

  120. The NFL is violating the spirit of the law, without question.

    But odds are, they'll win in the end. Why? Because they have money and power, and the courts aren't always concerned with meting out actual justice, but maintaining the status quo. The NFL will offer these bogus justifications, and the court will likely accept them as 'evidence' that the NFL is trying to conduct business in accordance with the law:

    1. We sell many tickets to brokers, who in turn offer them to the public.

    2. We cannot sell 95% of tickets because of obligations to sponsors, media, etc.

    But here is why the NFL is in blatant violation of the law:

    1. The NFL and its teams provide a massive percentage of tickets to brokers. Selling tickets to brokers who may or may not then sell them to the public does not alleviate the NFL's legal burden of providing 95% of tickets to the general public.

    2. Even if the NFL felt they need to provide 30% of their tickets to sponsors, media, etc., that does not alleviate them of the legal requirement to provide 95% of tickets to the general public.

    The NFL will win, but they shouldn't. Their violations of the law are obvious.

  121. I don't get it. You whine about the prices of the tickets, sit there clicked on your mouse to buy them, and now you want to file a lawsuit. I hope cause of your stupidity of buying the tickets, you lose your case. If it is to much don't buy them. Then you can be at your home bbqing , drinking beer, and watching every play up close on your television, with your friends and family. I say that's way better. If I want to go to a game, I go to a regular season game, and the Superbowl is overrated. I could enjoy watching and buying a ticket to the xgames or a concert than the Superbowl.

  122. That league that doesn't pay taxes really riles me. So, something as American as Mom's Apple Pie discriminates against the average guy who supports them year round, doesn't pay taxes, and reserves tickets to the Ultimate Contest of the year for deep pockets. How American is that? Sounds like our government.

  123. I hope he wins the lawsuit.

    Can't count the number of times I have seen people

    in the Luxury boxes totally ignoring the game - even

    the Super Bowl. Give the true and loyal fans a chance

    to go to the Super Bowl.