US Olympic ticketing and hospitality agent CoSport has called on a federal court to dismiss a class action brought against it over Tokyo 2020 refunds.
The exclusive US authorised ticket reseller (ATR) of Olympic tickets and hospitality is the subject of a suit brought by five customers who accuse CoSport of breach of contract and fraud.
It was filed initially by Texas resident Susan Caruso, who took action after CoSport informed its customers that they would be eligible for refunds worth a maximum of 75% of the cost of the packages they purchased when it was announced in March 2021 that overseas visitors would not be able to attend the Games. The plaintiffs allege CoSport’s refund process contravenes laws in New Jersey, where it is headquartered.
CoSport told the New Jersey federal court that customers were fully appraised of its terms and agreed to them. It added that it has already provided more than $23m of cash refunds for Tokyo-related tickets despite not being legal required to do so.
It also said it had lobbied organisers to fully reimburse those who had purchased tickets or rented accommodations.
“CoSport did not make an untold windfall on the Olympic Games,” the company wrote in its motion to dismiss. “Rather, absent any legal obligation to do so, CoSport reached into its own pocket and guaranteed its customers refunds they were otherwise unlikely to receive. Plaintiffs call that unlawful conduct and fraud. It is not.”
CoSport is also an ATR for Sweden, Norway, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Jordan and Australia.
In March, CoSport and other ATRs, the brokers who are typically appointed by national Olympic committees, announced they would only refund the face value of the tickets and the shipping fees, leaving fans out of pocket after paying a handling fee. ATRs are allowed to charge up to a 20% handling fee on tickets.
At the time, CoSport said it could not start paying refunds until it receives refunds from the organisers, which it said would not be until the third quarter of 2021. In addition, ticketholders would have to act fast in order to receive a refund from CoSport, with the firm setting a deadline of April 9 to submit the required document.