The Washington Commanders Settle for $1.3 Million in Ticket Deposit Case

The Washington Commanders recently agreed to a $1.3 million settlement with the Virginia attorney general following a two-year investigation into how the team handled the return of season-ticket deposits. This agreement is designed to address the mishandling of deposits totaling more than $600,000, in addition to $700,000 in penalties and investigative costs.

The investigation was initiated by Attorney General Jason Miyares in April 2022, prompted by information revealed during a congressional inquiry regarding potential financial irregularities during the tenure of former owner Dan Snyder. While Snyder sold the team in July 2021, concerns lingered about the treatment of season-ticket deposit holders. The Commanders cooperated with the investigation, providing documentation and the results of their internal probe.

Attorney General Miyares commended the current ownership group, led by Josh Harris, for addressing the issues inherited from the prior administration. Despite not being responsible for creating the problem, the new owners actively engaged in resolving the matter rather than prolonging a legal battle. Miyares emphasized that the previous ownership failed in adequately refunding the deposits, treating ticket holders as mere commodities.

The investigation uncovered that Washington unlawfully withheld substantial sums of security deposits, imposing additional conditions on refund seekers. Furthermore, the team neglected to transfer unclaimed deposits to the appropriate authorities until at least 2023. As part of the settlement, the Commanders are required to promptly refund any outstanding security deposits or turn them over to state unclaimed property offices within the specified time frame.

In addition to refunding the deposits and paying the investigative costs, the Commanders must comply with the mandated refund procedures for dormant accounts. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in further penalties, including civil fines and compensation for legal fees. Attorney General Miyares stressed the importance of corporate accountability and consumer protection in dealing with such misconduct.

This settlement with Virginia authorities mirrors a similar agreement reached with the District of Columbia attorney general’s office in April 2023, where the Commanders pledged to pay restitution to fans and the district for mishandling security deposits. The repeated instances of mishandling fan finances underscore the need for stronger oversight and transparency in sports management.

The resolution of the season-ticket deposit case involving the Washington Commanders highlights the significance of ethical business practices and the consequences of financial impropriety in professional sports. The commitment to rectifying past errors and ensuring fair treatment of ticket holders is essential for rebuilding trust and upholding the integrity of the franchise. Moving forward, it is imperative for sports organizations to prioritize transparency, accountability, and consumer welfare to avoid similar controversies in the future.

NFL

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