The Los Angeles County, California, Superior Court has set a trial date of February 17, 2021 to hear a case in which a group of four ticket brokers allege Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers illegally seized their tickets in order to take greater control of their own resale market.
The group of brokers, led by Connecticut-based Prestige Entertainment early last year sued the Dodgers and club owner Guggenheim Baseball Management, alleging breach of contract and promissory fraud. The brokers claim the Dodgers reneged on prior promises to have recurring rights to purchase season tickets and were previously used to “prop up the Dodgers’ sagging attendance numbers,” only to be cut out when the team became more dominant on the field.
The lawsuit closely followed a deal the club signed with Houston-based ticket distribution company Eventellect in which many broker accounts were canceled and the Dodgers took a more active role in overseeing its local ticket resale market.
The Dodgers have declined to specify their level of business with brokers. But some industry estimates point to a third of its season-ticket base of more than 35,000 full-season equivalents being previously held by brokers, while the lawsuit alleges that percentage is actually “over half.”
The Dodgers contest the charges and say the brokers were not promised season ticket rights in perpetuity.
With such a lengthy time between now and the trial, there will likely be additional maneuvers, including a probable Dodgers bid to get the suit dismissed and potential settlement negotiations.