Super Bowl Ticket Broker Files For Bankruptcy After Not Being Able To Provide Paid-For Tickets

635584962828957145-Still0202-00005A lot of people who purchased legitimate Super Bowl tickets months in advance through ticket brokers later found themselves watching the game on TV after those brokers claimed they were unable to get the tickets that were promised. One New York-based broker who is being sued by the state of Washington recently filed for bankruptcy protection as dozens of customers look to get refunds on their tickets and other related travel expenses.

There are multiple explanations about how this most recent Super Bowl ended up being such a clusterfrack with regard to ticket brokers.

Some say that brokers were overly optimistic about the number of tickets they would ultimately be able to get their hands on and simply couldn’t deliver as promised.

Others contend that, as last-minute demand drove prices skyward, brokers saw an opportunity to make larger profits by reneging on already sold tickets and reselling them to another buyer at a higher price.

For example, if someone buys tickets months in advance, when you have no reasonable way of knowing who will be playing, they can get decent seats for around $2,000 each. And if the two teams that ultimately make it to the big game have particularly rabid and well-heeled fan bases, a broker can sell those same tickets for more than $10,000 each. The broker could — in theory — lie to the original customer, refund him his money (plus some), resell the tickets at the higher price and still make a much larger profit.

Still others put the blame on the NFL, claiming the league delayed releasing tickets to players and coaches (who are forbidden from reselling at higher prices, though apparently that doesn’t stop a lot of them from doing it), and causing a shortage of last-minute seats.

No one knows exactly what caused the problems with tickets purchased from based in New York City, but dozens of Seahawks fans in Washington have alleged malfeasance and the site is currently being sued by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

In its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, SBtickets lists around 150 different customers, mostly from the U.S., and Canada, but also from The Netherlands, England, Germany, Norway, and Australia. A lawyer for the site tells the Wall Street Journal’s Bankruptcy Beat that the intention is to make it easier to negotiate settlements with these customers.

Washington AG Ferguson points out to the Journal that the penalties being sought by his office can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. The site also faces separate civil actions filed by customers in other courts around the country.

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