Arts & Entertainment | April 25, 2020 9:00 am

Lawsuit Over Refunds for Canceled Events Targets MLB, StubHub and Ticketmaster

The divide between "canceled events" and "postponed events" could have significant repercussions

Citi Field
A new lawsuit haas targeted MLB, as well as two popular ticket sellers.
Tdorante10/Creative Commons

With sports leagues postponing or canceling seasons and concerts large and small facing an uncertain 2020, it’s a challenging time for event promoters — and nearly everyone involved in that industry. How does a sports team or concert venue respond to ticket holders for an event that might not take place for another year — or might not take place at all?  An already difficult situation just took on an another layer of complexity with the news of a class action lawsuit filed earlier this week.

On April 22, plaintiffs Matthew Ajzenman and Susan Terry-Bazer filed a lawsuit in US District Court. On the receiving end? Major League Baseball, Live Nation, Ticketmaster and StubHub. As a report by Dylan Smith at Digital Music News writes, ticket refund policies are what led to the suit:

In essence, Ajzenman and Terry-Bazer are suing because they’ve yet to receive refunds for the MLB tickets they purchased. Ajzenman, for his part, bought some $1,730 worth of tickets directly from the New York Mets’ front office, while Terry-Bazer bought $926 worth of Red Sox-Yankees tickets via Ticketmaster.

As Smith writes, the games in question are currently considered postponed rather than canceled outright — but even if the MLB season goes on, it remains to be seen whether anyone will be allowed in to watch them. (Perhaps MLB will follow the Bundesliga’s route and opt for plastic cutouts of fans?) This class action suit could have a significant impact on the sporting world, depending on where it goes from here. It’s one more factor in an already-dizzying array of considerations facing front offices around the country.

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