Dude, where's my refund?
Thousands of Dodgers' fans across the Southland are patiently awaiting refunds for tickets purchased prior to the 2020 MLB season.
Many fans, who purchased tickets to games that should have already been played, have requested refunds from the Dodgers organization, and resellers such as StubHub. As of Wednesday, those purchasers have been told that tickets are not automatically being refunded.
Local news from across Southern California
The Dodgers in particular pointed fans towards the league wide policy initiated by Major League Baseball. That policy considers games that are "postponed" as similar to a game that is rained out, and therefore, is not subject to a refund because it can rescheduled for a later date.
However, on Tuesday, Major League Baseball sent out a memo telling teams that each individual organization could decide their own internal ticket refund policy.
More than a month of the 162-game season should have already been played as of the publication of this article. MLB suspended spring training on March 12, and the regular season has been postponed ever since due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MLB is still discussing multiple plans for baseball's return, but a start date or revised schedule has yet to be determined.
In the interim, fans who purchased Dodgers tickets are frustrated that they haven't received any communication from the team in regards to the refund policy.
Meanwhile, over 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March 12, and thousands in Southern California are currently without jobs. Needless to say, many fans are undergoing economic hardship and could use the money back for their purchased tickets.
MLB grossed over $10.7 billion in 2019, and the Dodgers grossed an estimated $188 million in 2017 and $195 million in 2018 in gate receipts alone. The 2019 gate receipts have yet to be released.
Dodgers' fans are not alone in their frustrations with refunds for tickets purchased for the 2020 season. Milberg Phillips Grossman LLP filed a class action lawsuit last week in California on behalf of millions of MLB ticket holders who are being denied refunds.
The lawsuit includes Major League Baseball, each individual team, and other third-party ticket resellers, such as StubHub and Ticketmaster as defendants.
"Fans are justified in crying foul over the league's ticket refund policy," said Milberg Partner, Marc Grossman. "There would be no Major League Baseball without the fans. This is a time for MLB and other organizations to do right by the people who love the game, and have supported them for years."
According to USA Today, consumers have more than $1 billion tied up in tickets to MLB, NBA, and NHL games that may not be played this season. Even if play is resumed, top health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have indicated that the only way professional sports will be played during the summer of 2020 is if no fans are in attendance. A recent Seton Hall poll found that just 13% of Americans would feel comfortable attending sporting events without a vaccine for the coronavirus.
"During an unprecedented crisis, while so many businesses have provided refunds for services that can't be fulfilled, it remains notable that baseball—America's pastime—is forcing fans to take the loss on ticket sales," said Milberg Partner, Glenn Phillips. "Millions of Americans are out of work right now and need access to the funds wrongfully withheld by MLB, MLB teams, and ticket merchants."