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Ibe v. NFL

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division

September 30, 2014, Decided; September 30, 2014, Filed

Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-248-M

Opinion

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the Court is Defendant National Football League's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Motion for Partial Dismissal for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction [Dkt. No. 272]. Having reviewed the Motions, pleadings, and evidence before the Court, Defendant's Motions are GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On February 6, 2011, Cowboys Stadium1 played host to Super Bowl XLV. The National Football League ("NFL") produced tickets for the Super Bowl, which, on the front side, stated the face value of the ticket, a seat location, the proper gate to enter the stadium, and a note that the "Stadium Gates Open at 1:00 PM."2 The back side of the tickets contained "Super Bowl Ticket Terms," which stated, in relevant part:

SUPER BOWL TICKET TERMS. This ticket grants entry in the stadium and a spectator seat for the game. Admission may be [*4]  refused or ticket holder ejected at the sole discretion of the National Football League, subject to refund (or without refund if the ticket holder is disorderly or fails to comply with these ticket terms or security measures). THE DATE AND TIME OF THE GAME IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE NFL IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS SCHEDULING POLICIES OR AS A RESULT OF OTHER ACTIONS OR EVENTS BEYOND THE NFL'S CONTROL.3

Additionally, each ticket included a unique barcode, which security staff at Cowboys Stadium scanned upon entry by ticketholders at various security checkpoints around the perimeter of the stadium. Upon presentment of the tickets, the scanners recorded the seat location, time of the scan, and whether the ticket was accepted or rejected, all of which information was saved in a database.4 After a successful scan, the ticketholder was admitted inside the stadium.5

To accommodate a potentially record-breaking crowd, the plans for Super Bowl XLV called for the installation of approximately 13,000 temporary seats.6 However, the temporary [*5]  seats were not completely installed by the day of the game, which resulted in the NFL delaying the opening of the gates to 2:20 p.m., rather than the planned opening time of 1:00 p.m.7 The football game was scheduled for kickoff at 5:31 p.m.,8 and that time apparently was not changed, although the record is not definitive on that subject. Nonetheless, the incomplete installation of temporary seating affected certain ticketholders, some of whom are Plaintiffs in this suit.

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2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139102 *; 2014 WL 4906886

BRUCE IBE, CONSTANCE YOUNG, JASON MCLEAR, ROBERT FORTUNE, DEAN HOFFMAN, KEN LAFFIN, DAVID WANTA, and REBECCA BURGWIN, Plaintiffs, v. NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, Defendant.

Subsequent History: Stay denied by Ibe v. NFL, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179779 (N.D. Tex., May 7, 2015)

Prior History: Simms v. NFL, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189697 (N.D. Tex., July 10, 2013)

CORE TERMS

ticket, seats, stadium, obstructed view, Relocated, Delayed, refund, ticketholders, video, obstructed, argues, replacement, breach of contract, revocable, license, terms, spectator, moot, face value, reimbursement, daughters, offers, gates, breach of contract claim, summary judgment, damages, fans, fraudulent inducement, views, Row