They should counter-sue for having to sit in that abomination of a ballpark.
Every once in a while you get a nice, heavy reminder that sports owners aren’t like you. They (mostly) aren’t the every-man who loves the game and all that comes with it. They’re businessmen. And if you screw with their business, they’re coming for ya… even if you’re their customer.
The Miami Marlins – and owner Jeffrey Loria – have sued at least nine season ticket holders and luxury suite owners since 2013, according to the Miami New Times. Currently, they’re suing Marlins super-fan Mickey Axelband, saying he illegally backed out of a season ticket deal. In a beautiful twist, while the Marlins are suing fans for not showing up, two stadium vendors are suing the Marlins, “alleging the Marlins promised robust crowds and then didn’t deliver.”
But why did Axelbrand back out of his season ticket deal?
“The Marlins promised first-floor parking in the stadium garage and a private entrance. There would also be a lounge with pre- and postgame buffets so season ticketholders could arrive early or hang out late. Axelband happily paid $24,000 for the two-seat package (that’s $148 per seat for each game) — nearly double the $13,000 he’d ponied up for the final year at Dolphin Stadium. He agreed to a two-year deal. Although only the private lounge was actually written into the contract, Axelband says he had no reason to believe the team wouldn’t follow through.
But Marlins Park wasn’t the success the team had hoped for. By midseason, crowds had dwindled to near Dolphin Stadium levels, and the team began slashing expenses. Those nearby parking spaces? Gone. The private entrance? Closed to save money on the extra usher manning the door. The buffet was stocked with the same bland panini for every game. Soon the team shut it down in the sixth inning.”
Hate to harp on it again, but these dudes should really be suing the Marlins over this:
Photo Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
The New Times points out that teams who even consider suing fans usually stay away because of bad publicity*. Jeffrey Loria, however, is like a cartoon cat with dollar signs in his eyes.
The Marlins are 26th in attendance this year (averaging 20,647 fans per game in those undoubtedly fudged official numbers). They should probably be focused on getting other fans in, not suing the ones who’ve stopped coming. But petty billionaires gonna be petty billionaires.
*The Dodgers previously sued Jon Lovitz over unpaid season tickets but everyone was on their side because it was Jon Lovitz.