In July, the Miami Marlins made headlines when owner Jeffrey Loria sued at least nine season ticketholders who cancelled multi-year ticket arrangements. Now, Miami New Times reports that one former ticketholder is countersuing on the basis that Loria and the team did not follow through on the perks they promised.
The Marlins played its inaugural season in the new Marlins Park in 2012. With the new stadium, the team and its salespeople pitched a slew of perks for loyal fans including premium seating, food, drinks, and more.
Mickey Axelband, a longtime Marlins fan who held season tickets since their inaugural season at Dolphin Park in 1993, decided based on these promises to purchase a luxury package at the new park despite living over 60 miles away. Because of the commute, the most important perks for him were the designated, easy-access portion of the garage for season ticketholders, and the premium buffet to be served before and after games so he would not need to worry about finding a meal on game nights. Axelband paid $24,000 for the two-seat package (that’s $148 per seat for each game) – and agreed to a two-year deal.
In the first year at the new Marlins Park, Loria fired first-year manager Ozzie Guillen and took away all the promised fan perks. Axelband tried to discontinue the second year of his season ticket contract and in 2015, Loria sued. This past Saturday, Axelband filed a counterclaim.
“Marlins fraudulently induced Axelband and other season ticket holders into buying premium seats… by providing brochures and having slick sales pitches of promises of premium seating, premium food, and complimentary drinks, only to remove these amenities once the season began,” reads the counterclaim, filed Saturday by Daniel Rose, Axelband’s attorney. “It was the Marlins who breached their contract and it was the Marlins who were guilty of deceptive and unfair trade practices.”
The Marlin’s lawsuit against Axelband and several other season ticketholders, luxury box owners, and vendors remains open.
Axelband is asking for Judge Jose M. Rodriguez to order the Marlins to pay his attorney’s fees and any reasonable damages.