When sports get cancelled, things get messy. Now, two baseball fans from the U.S. are apparently taking matters into their own hands against Major League Baseball. The fans are suing MLB, all 30 teams including the Toronto Blue Jays, and ticket resale websites as a result of the lack of refunds being offered.
A report from the LA Times on Monday, April 20, describes how two supporters have filed a lawsuit to get their money back for games that aren't being played due to COVID-19.
The suit is reportedly looking to secure class-action certification, which would allow all fans to join.
"While many businesses across this country have acted lawfully and ethically by providing consumers with refunds for events that will never occur during this pandemic, sometimes at the risk of bankruptcy, it remains notable that America’s pastime — baseball — is refusing to do right by its fans,” asserts the lawsuit.
"As stadiums remain empty for the foreseeable future, baseball fans are stuck with expensive and unusable tickets for unplayable games in the midst of this economic crisis."
Narcity has reached out to Rogers and the Toronto Blue Jays for more information.
Ticketmaster — along with fellow ticket sale websites StubHub, Live Nation, and Last Minute Transactions — is also named as a defendant alongside the MLB and its 30 teams.
The LA Times report suggests the lawsuit states that "well over 100" fans are prepared to make claims, and the "amount in controversy ... exceeds $5 million."
The 2020 MLB season should have started on March 26. As it stands, it's extremely unclear on when it's likely to be able to resume, if at all.
According to the Toronto Sun, Ticketmaster last month quietly changed its refund policy to only include events that have been officially cancelled, not postponements or rescheduling.
The lawsuit adds: "Even if some games can be played for the 2020 MLB season, it is near certainty that no fans will attend.
"As such, at a minimum, the defendants should acknowledge this and recognize that its loyal fans cannot bear the entire brunt of the economic hardship of the pandemic while team owners and ticket companies keep the plaintiffs’ money."
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays committed on Monday to paying their full-time staff their full salaries through until May 31, per Sportsnet.
An FAQ on the franchise's website advises fans to hold onto their tickets for the time being, although it doesn't offer further information. If you purchased through a resale site, it adds, you should contact that site directly.