Fans stiffed out of Super Bowl tickets filing complaints with Attorney General’s Office

Seattle Seahawks fans who paid for Super Bowl tickets but didn’t receive them are filing complaints with the Washington state Attorney General’s Office.

By Tuesday, three complaints were logged and another 15 to 20 waiting to upload.

After hearing multiple stories about fans stiffed out of pre-purchased tickets for this year’s NFL championship game, the Attorney General’s Office put out a call for complaints so investigators can look into brokers who didn’t cough up what they’d promised.

“There appeared to be a pattern that brokers were selling tickets they didn’t possess,” spokesman Peter Lavallee said.

That violates the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

Lavallee said the agency is interested in helping Seahawks fans recoup the financial loss from undelivered tickets and travel costs incurred for those who went to Arizona for the Feb. 1 game believing they had tickets.

Several theories are swirling about what caused Super Bowl XLIX ticket prices to surge, which caused a shortage among brokers and fans.

Some blame the NFL for withholding release of tickets usually given to players, teams and sponsors.

Others blame a common Super Bowl resale tactic known as short selling, where orders are taken by brokers who don’t yet possess the tickets.

Brokers often wait until the week of the game to acquire tickets to fill orders because street prices usually drop. That enables them to turn a profit by buying tickets at lower prices and fill higher-priced orders already paid to them by credit card.

Except this year, ticket prices didn’t drop. On game day, the cheapest ticket to be found was close to $10,000.

To file a complaint, visit www.atg.wa.gov and click the “Consumer Complaint” button or call 800-551-4636 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays.

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