Last week D.C. Attornery General Karl Racine had a “major announcement” about their investigation into Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders. A consumer protection lawsuit was announced that named Snyder, the Commanders, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the NFL itself, but it was considered a let down by many observers, and didn’t address the alleged financial improprieties that came out of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s investigation. Racine did say that those accusations, and their investigation into them, would likely trigger another lawsuit, and that’s what was announced yesterday.
The D.C. AG’s office has filed another lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, and it’s related to the accusations that the team withheld deposits that should have been returned to season ticket holders. They are being sued “for implementing an illegal scheme to cheat District ticket holders out of their deposits for season tickets and use the money for its own purposes.” It alleges that the team “prioritized its own revenues over fairness and deceived District consumers by wrongly withholding their security deposits that should have been automatically repaid under consumers’ contracts, and improperly using those deposits for the Team’s own purposes.”
Racine’s office said in a statement that the Commanders “have returned some of the money to ticket holders but, as of March 2022, they still held nearly $200,000 in unreturned security deposits paid by District consumers. They have also forfeited thousands of dollars from District consumers’ security deposits and converted that money into revenue for the team, to use for its own purposes.”
Washington has been contacting fans who were owed money recently in an attempt to return those “lost” funds. This was seen as a response to the lawsuits that were in the works by D.C., and investigations that are still ongoing in Virginia and Maryland.
The office of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine files a second lawsuit against the Commanders, this one related to the refunds of deposits to season ticket holders, from @NickiJhabvala and me.... https://t.co/xB9mKXGP1K— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) November 17, 2022
The lawsuit states that as of March 2022, the Commanders "still held nearly $200,000 in unreturned security deposits paid by District consumers" https://t.co/aTUwHbjHp1— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 17, 2022
From Racine's statement: “The Commanders’ arrogance and blatant disregard for the law is a slap in the face to District residents who have supported the team for decades. We deserve better, and today my office is taking action yet again to hold them accountable.”— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 17, 2022
The Washington Commanders issued a statement on the new lawsuit:
From a Commanders spokesperson on the lawsuit: pic.twitter.com/d1CbrmZUmB— John Keim (@john_keim) November 17, 2022
Washington will also be raising ticket prices for the first time in almost a decade...
By the way, after being previously told capacity was between 62,000-63,000, we finally have an updated figure: 62,429— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) November 17, 2022
You might have heard by now but the Commanders are raising season ticket prices by just over 4%, source confirms. First rise in 10 years. Also lowered prices on 10k seats.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 17, 2022
Also confirmed the FedEx Field capacity: 62,429.@Matthew_Paras first with the deets.
Washington also reached a settlement over deposits withheld in Maryland.
For years, the Commanders kept money that was not theirs. It belongs to their customers. Our settlement will require the team to return this money to those customers, pay a penalty, and make sure they don't engage in this conduct again. https://t.co/MbH3xXlBKS— Brian Frosh, Attorney General of Maryland (@BrianFrosh) November 18, 2022
The investigation from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will be ending in January. Democrats who currently have control of the House of Representatives will lose their majority next year after this month’s mid-term elections. Republicans on the committee have made it clear they see this as a witch hunt and an inappropriate use of the Oversight Committees time and resources.
A final report is expected to be issued, but multiple investigations and lawsuits have been started based on their findings. Team owner Dan Snyder, former team president/GM Bruce Allen, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were all subpoenaed and testified before the committee. Dan Snyder’s testimony has still not been released to the public, something his lawyers pointed out in their response to reports that the investigation was ending.
The Democrats still are expected to issue a final report or memo on the investigation, although they have not specified the form or the timing. https://t.co/PPJ5kI35aH— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 17, 2022
Response from the Washington Commanders:
John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, outside counsel for the Commanders, have released a statement related to Rep. James Comer declaring the Oversight committee's probe into Dan Snyder to be over with the House flipping to Republicans (Dems have until January to release a report): pic.twitter.com/6wj0zEun1O— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) November 17, 2022