Did the Dodgers act illegally when they stripped brokers of their tickets and decided to control the resale market themselves?
The trial to determine the answer will start Feb. 17, 2021, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick said Thursday.
Four brokers sued the team last year, arguing the Dodgers had treated them as loyal partners for years and promised them the right to continue purchasing their ticket packages. The lawsuit alleges that “over half” of the Dodgers’ 35,000 season tickets had been held by brokers and that the team’s decision to take back those tickets and minimize competition has resulted in “outrageously inflated ticket prices for fans and more profits for the Dodgers.”
The Dodgers have denied the charges, claiming that the team’s decision to cut out the brokers was a “reasonable exercise of business judgment” and asserting the team never had guaranteed brokers the right to renew their tickets. Any statements that might have led the brokers to believe otherwise, the Dodgers said, were “mere puffery.”
Although Bowick set a trial date, the case is not guaranteed to get to a trial. The Dodgers first are expected to ask the court to throw out the case, and the two sides also could reach a settlement.