Bengals Face Ticket Suit

Football fans were given the go-ahead October 7th to form a class-action lawsuit against the Cincinnati Bengals, claiming the team disallowed them to cancel their season tickets. As many as 3,000 people could be affected.

The suit alleges the team improperly coerced fans into keeping their seat assignments at Paul Brown Stadium.

A 1997 brochure, issued to help raise money to build the stadium (which opened in 2000), offered fans a chance to purchase a seat license and, as a result, their ticket prices would be locked in for six, eight or 10 years. The agreement allowed fans to give up their seat license if they stopped buying tickets.

However, a second document arrived showing seat assignments and also obligating fans to buy tickets through the full term of the licence. The document said disputes would require arbitration.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman also dismissed lawsuits filed by the Bengals against some people who stopped paying for their tickets.

The team had threatened some non-compliant fans via letter, saying their cases would be turned over to collection agencies. Fans sued, claiming the action could jeopardize their credit ratings.

The Bengals were trying to collect a total of $5.8 million.