Long Rain Delay? Can You Get a Refund on Your Ticket?

How do you know when you’ve spent way too much time with your kids, arbitrating their petty fights and answering their endless demands for snacks?

When your husband casually asks you what we (meaning him and you) should do this weekend and you tell him he is going to take the kids somewhere and you are going to stay home. Take the kids anywhere, I don’t care, as long as I get to be by myself in the house.

My husband, being the great guy that he is, rounded up the kids and took them to the back to school night FC Dallas, our local major league soccer team, was hosting. Bounce houses and junk food for the kids, and a great evening of soccer for my husband. And me alone in the house. Win, win, win.

Except it wasn’t a win for my husband or the kids. An apocalyptic lightening storm descended over the stadium and didn’t move for hours. Check out this video he took and tweeted (which was picked up by Good Morning America):

 

Finally at 10:00 p.m., with no sign of the game starting and tired and grumpy kids, my husband called an audible and left for home.

Along with everyone else.

You know who didn’t leave? The soccer players. It may have been the middle of the night, and there may have been no fans watching, but once the weather finally cleared the game went on.

So what recourse do you have if you find yourself in the same situation as my husband? Spending good money on tickets but unable to use them because of an extraordinarily long delay in play?

One might think there is a magic rule requiring teams to cancel games and issue rainchecks if there is an unusually long delay in play.

There’s not. To see what rights you do have, check the team’s and league’s webpage and the back of your ticket.

With the MLS, it’s totally up to the teams whether or not the game gets postponed or abandoned after a significant weather delay. They MAY take into account whether play would begin before midnight / game completed by 1:00 a.m. local time. Or they could just say screw it, we know it’s 2 in the morning and the people who actually paid to watch the game are long gone, but let’s play the damn game anyway.

Professional teams will do everything in their power to make sure a game is played, even if it means playing a game in the middle of the night after a significant weather delay when all but the drunkest of fans have gone home. Why? They don’t want the visiting team to have to pay again for travel for a future game. Sensible, but hard on the fans.

Okay so the teams don’t have to give you anything for your trouble. So what should you do?

Here’s what my husband did and what I would suggest you do.

He contacted FC Dallas (by Twitter and email). He politely (but firmly) explained the situation and what he wanted, either free tickets or a discount off of the purchase of future tickets. They offered him 50% of off tickets for the next game we take the kids to.

A very nice gesture from FC Dallas and we will be sure to taken them up on it.

Have you ever found yourself waiting out a really long weather delay and giving up and going home, only to find out later the game was actually played? Did you try to get a refund on your ticket? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.

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