MLB fans file lawsuit over ticket refunds during coronavirus shutdown

Two New York baseball fans are suing Major League Baseball, all 30 individual clubs and ticket resellers over tickets purchased for MLB games that haven’t been able to happen because of the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN and the Associated Press report. The pair of fans filed the complaint on Monday in California, and they are 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, via ESPN. “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 New York Mets games, along with Susan Terry-Bazer, who said she purchased six tickets for a May 9 game at Yankee Stadium against the Boston Red Sox. The pair says that both claims were denied refunds. 

As of now, MLB is treating games that have not been played as a postponement rather than a cancellation. MLB will likely have to set up an official policy as to what will happen to fans who purchased tickets once a decision is made on the 2020 season.

Ajzenman said his Mets ticket package cost $1,730 and he made his first payment to the team of about $317 last year. Terry-Bazer said she paid $926 to Ticketmaster for the Yankees-Red Sox tickets.

“Baseball fans are stuck with expensive and unusable tickets for unplayable games in the midst of this economic crisis,” the lawsuit said via the Associated Press. “Under the pretext of ‘postponing’ games, at the directive of MLB, teams and ticket merchants are refusing to issue refunds for games which are not going to be played as scheduled — if ever.”

On Monday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly told league employees that he expects baseball to return in 2020

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