Flyers Season Ticket Holders Sue Comcast Spectacor For Trying To Upsell Them Expensive Winter Classic Tickets

Sadly, the Philadelphia Flyers’ Stanley Cup hopes were dashed into the boards last night by the New Jersey Devils. But season ticket holders still have something to get riled up about, as they try to call team owners Comcast Spectacor for legal high-sticking.

See, this past season, the NHL’s annual, outdoor Winter Classic game was held here in Philadelphia at the greatest baseball stadium on Earth, Citizens Bank Park.

But when season ticket holders got their passes last fall, that game — which in spite of all the media hype still just counted as a regular season home game for the Flyers — was missing. In its place was a mock ticket for the Winter Classic, along with instructions for how to get seats for the outdoor competition.

They weren’t even given the opportunity to simply buy Winter Classic tickets at face value. Instead, they were told they had to purchase a package that included the Dec. 1 alumni exhibition game and tickets to see the AHL Phantoms play on Jan. 6. Oh — it also included a $41 processing fee per ticket.

In total, that came out to $394/ticket. Pricey even by Flyers standards.

One man has already successfully sued in small claims court, where he was awarded $1,364 for his troubles.

Now, more season ticket holders are combining to form a class-action suit that could end up costing Comcast millions of dollars if the plaintiffs are successful.

From a statement released by the plaintiff’s attorneys:

Among purchasers of tickets to the Winter Classic, only Flyers full season ticket holders were subject to Comcast Spectacor’s conditions that they buy tickets to the exhibition and minor league games. The class action lawsuit was filed because full season ticket holders were entitled to the Winter Classic ticket as part of their agreement with Comcast Spectacor, and should not have been required to repurchase the ticket or to pay for any additional tickets or charges. The Complaint includes claims for breach of contract and violations of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.

Comcast responds to the suit, which it calls “frivolous”:

Following the [NHL’s] selection, all season ticket holders were given an appropriate refund and were given the additional opportunity to purchase a Winter Classic ticket package. It’s a shame that a disgruntled few have seized upon the class-action lawsuit to attempt to profit from what was overwhelmingly considered by those who attended the Winter Classic, and the other games, to be an extraordinary experience.

And yet Comcast has decided not to appeal the small claims judgment “for strategic reasons.”

Why Philadelphia fans are suing Flyers over Winter Classic ticket policy [Yahoo]
Fans file class-action suit against Flyers [Philadelphia Daily News]

Thanks to Josh for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. The Brad says:

    “purchase a Winter Classic ticket package” This is the problem right here. The game is considered a regular season game and you decided to instead charge season ticket holders a premium for watching this game by making them also buy tickets to two more games that they may not be intrested in.

    If I buy season tickets to a sporting event, I expect to get a ticket to every single home game that my team plays with the option to purchase post-season games at a reasonable rate.

  2. Olivia Neutron-Bomb says:

    Comcast Spectacor? How the hell do you pronounce that? Like “expectorate?”

    • mbz32190 says:

      “Spec-ta-core”….stupid name but I think comcast acquired the “Spectacor” company at some point and just shoved their name on the front.

  3. Cat says:


    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      That was an informative comment. Maybe you should take your remarkable insight and start your own website. We’ll see you later.

  4. mikedt says:

    You know, if just for one season, sports fans could suck it up and tell all these owners to go to hell by boycotting, high ticket prices and screwing the customer would be done with. But they know, no matter how much they charge or how bad they screw the fans, there’s still enough of you who will take out their wallets even while they bitch.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      What a sports junky that lives their life vicariously through the teams and sport they follow give up over priced tickets and concessions. LOL

  5. StarKillerX says:

    Actually since season tickets are for a specific seat in a specific arena I have no issue with this.

    As for the lawsuits, I’m curious how many of the people suing used every ticket and now are simply going to try and grab some cash because “they’re an evil company!”

    • longfeltwant says:

      That is a good point about the arena. Still, if you sell something called a “season ticket”, then that implies a ticket to all home games. Do you really think they can call it a season ticket and not include all the home games? It sounds like bait and switch to me.

    • backwerds says:

      For the Detroit Tigers at least; if you bought any season ticket package (full season, half, 28 game, 14 game) you were given a ticket to opening day. Because you could in theory have the saturday 28 game package in your seats and someone else has the 28 game package for friday in your same seats, they issue you a comparable ticket somewhere in the stadium. So my package is for the outfield, but for opening day I had seats in the upper deck. Most stadiums try to give you your ticket in the same price category. IE: If you purchased $20 tickets, you’ll be relocated to another $20 location.

    • DogiiKurugaa says:

      There is still the issue of being forced to buy a special package that cost more and included tickets to games they made not have wanted nor needed. According to the article only season ticket holders for the Flyers were required to purchase this package to get tickets for the game. Now, I’m sure they could’ve just bought the tickets normally, but then they would have to hope they could get seats considering how big a game it was.

    • sigh says:

      Re-read (or maybe just read) the article and you’ll see that there’s more to it than that. They forced season ticket holders to spend MORE money than other fans. And it’s a BS package deal that includes charges for stuff they wouldn’t want in the first place. Comcast should pay double whatever money they made off this scam.

    • Galium says:

      So what does going to every game have to do with suing for ticket padding? Having a season ticket does not obligate someone to go to every game, nor does it have any bearing on a lawsuit in this case. They are grabbing for the cash because they believe they been screwed.

  6. mbd says:

    It’s Philadelphia, what do you expect…

  7. ahecht says:

    Comcast Spectacor, not Spectactor

  8. jayphat says:

    First sentence is misleading. I don’t know a soul sad the Flyers are out of the Stanley Cup chase.

    • Galium says:

      My uncle Frank is upset about it, but he resides in a home for the mentally challenged.

  9. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    If you want to feel truly gouged about high-priced tickets to watch a hockey team which, if the NHL worked like European soccer leagues, would now be relegated to some D-league, come to Toronto. Where the lemmings keep shelling out on average $140 each to buy a ticket to the sad-sack Leafs. If you become so “lucky” as to be called up saying season tickets have become available, get ready to bend over. No discounts here–you pay full price for all regular season and pre-season games. Not only that, but you’ll also be forced to cough up for season tickets to the even more inept NBA team that equally stinks up the joint. Guess what?? People around here will cough up the coin to get those prized ducats. Hence the reason the Laffs…er…Leafs haven’t even made the Stanley Cup final since 1967, never mind win it. Nor have they made the playoffs since the 2003-04 season. Yet the lemmings still fill up the joint every game night. Small wonder the parent company got bought for $1.3 billion by the media moguls up here. It’s a licence to print money.

  10. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Chris is correct that “the greatest baseball stadium on Earth” is in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It’s just further west (PNC Park).
    When they put a Primanti Brothers in your park, then we can talk (shout-out to Primanti Brothers closest location to me on University Dr. in Sunrise FL).

    • nbs2 says:

      No. The greatest baseball stadium on earth is a few miles down the road from Citizens Bank, in that wreck they call Baltimore. Not only is the stadium practically perfect in every way, but the name is still legit – no selling naming rights for Camden Yards.

  11. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This is actually really good news for the rest of us hockey fans because this is the first year that a team owner has attempted to package tickets in this way. The year before, when the Capitals played the Penguins in Heinz, the regular season game was split from the other non-official games like the alumni game. Fans didn’t have to buy everything as a package. It will be interesting to see whether the next Winter Classic will be split or packaged. Judging by this, it would be much wiser to keep it all separate.

    • jayphat says:

      This years winter classic is Leafs vs Red Wings in Michigan stadium. You could charge people their first born child and they still would sell it out.

  12. some.nerd says:

    They sure have a funny definition of “frivolous…”

  13. TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

    It’s called a Philly Chokesteak sandwich, cause the Flyers always choke….