The New Jersey state Supreme Court ruled that the NFL did not violate the state’s fraud law for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, although only 1 percent of tickets were reserved in a lottery for fans.
In 2014, Josh Finkleman of New Brunswick filed suit against the NFL after purchasing two $800 face-value tickets for the Super Bowl at $2,000 each. Finkleman claimed that he had to buy tickets on the secondary market due to the scarcity of tickets offered to the general public, even though New Jersey law required events to make 95 percent of tickets available to the public.
The suit alleged that the NFL distributed 75 percent of tickets among the 32 teams, which then are distributed as luxury packages or passed on to other insiders. Then, the remaining tickets not sold directly through the league’s channels are found on the secondary market sold through brokers. Finkleman said that if more tickets were made available to fans from the start, attendees could save money by sourcing tickets through fan-to-fan systems.
According to Ashbury Park Press, Finkleman’s attorney argued that the NFL distribution policy violated the New Jersey Law – which has since been repealed. However, the NFL’s attorneys argued that the lottery of available tickets didn’t constitute a public sale, therefore not violating the consumer fraud law, and the court agreed.
Bruce Nagel, who represents the class, originally believed the suit would have cost the NFL millions of dollars in damages if the expenses fans incurred fell under the Consumer Fraud Act. The lawsuit would have been allowed to proceed in federal court if the state Supreme Court had ruled in Finkelman’s favor, however, the case now ends here.