A pair of fans from New York are suing Major League Baseball, each individual club and ticket resellers over tickets purchased for MLB games that haven’t been played due the coronavirus pandemic.
The complaint, filed Monday in California, is seeking class-action certification and to add more plaintiffs who are “similarly situated.”
“During an unprecedented crisis, while so many businesses have provided refunds for services that can’t be fulfilled, it remains notable that baseball — America’s pastime — is forcing fans to take the loss on ticket sales,” attorney Glenn Phillips said in a release. “Millions of Americans are out of work right now and need access to the funds wrongfully withheld by MLB, MLB teams, and ticket merchants.”
The lawsuit was filed by Matthew Ajzenman, who said he bought a partial season plan for more than 20 Mets games; and Susan Terry-Bazer, who said she purchased six tickets for a May 9 game at Yankee Stadium against Boston. They both claim they were denied refunds.
Ajzenman said his Mets plan cost $1,730 and he made a first payment to the team of about $317 last year. Terry-Bazer said she paid $926 to Ticketmaster.
Currently, MLB is treating games that haven’t been played as postponements rather than cancellations, allowing teams to keep the proceeds from ticket sales — at least for the time being. The league has indicated it will have a policy once a decision is made on the 2020 season.
“Not only is a standard 162-game season with spectators a near impossibility, but the entire season could be cancelled, or played without spectators,” the release states.
Teams are likely to offer credit toward tickets for 2021 if no games are played this summer, sources told ESPN. A partial or full cancellation of the season would also trigger a refund policy, but there’s no timetable for implementation. Some fans aren’t waiting.
“There would be no Major League Baseball without the fans,” the release said. “This is a time for MLB and other organizations to do right by the people who love the game, and have supported them for years.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.