Cowboys want seating case tossed

Updated: May 27, 2011, 4:55 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- The NFL and the Dallas Cowboys have asked a federal court judge to dismiss the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Super Bowl ticket holders who wound up with no seats for the game.

About 1,250 temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington were deemed unsafe just hours before the Feb. 6 game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. That forced about 850 ticket holders to move to new seats and 400 others to watch the game from standing-room locations.

A 26-page motion filed by the league and the team on Thursday says the ticket holders aren't entitled to compensation beyond what they've already been offered. It also says the ticket holders weren't defrauded as a result of the fiasco.

The motion states that the NFL could revoke ticket-holding privileges as long as it provided a refund. In this instance, the league said it went "beyond its contractual obligations" when it offered displaced fans the actual prices they paid for their tickets as well as all documented travel, lodging and meal expenses

According to the motion, the NFL and the Cowboys didn't know until just before the game that the temporary seats would be inadequate and worked into the afternoon that day to deal with the issue.

"Defendants had nothing to gain by tricking ticket holders," the filing says. "With the eyes of the world focusing on the Super Bowl, it is implausible to suggest that defendants intended what would obviously be a public relations nightmare."

Michael Avenatti, a Los Angeles attorney who is representing the ticket holders, said the motion represents flawed thinking by the league and the team.

"The defendants have a fundamental misunderstanding of what their obligations are under the law," he said.

Avenatti said more than 3,000 people are covered by the class action, which includes ticket holders who discovered at the game that their seats did not allow them to see the stadium's giant video board.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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