Miami Marlins Threaten Lawsuit Against Season-Ticket Holders, Couple Claims

Dispute over seats, ballpark ads, could lead to team lawsuit against married couple

By Justin Finch
|  Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013  |  Updated 10:03 AM EDT
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Marlins fans Bill and Jan Leon claim the team is threatening them with a lawsuit.

Marlins fans Bill and Jan Leon claim the team is threatening them with a lawsuit.

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While most baseball fans are looking forward to the upcoming season, Marlins fans Bill and Jan Leon have been worried.

The husband-and-wife season-ticket holders have sat at the Marlins third-base line for almost two decades, but at the team's brand-new stadium, the couple claims their view is substantially blocked by a high wall that doubles as advertisement signage.

"The solution is simple, all they have to do is put a new sign in there," Bill Leon explained. "This is dangerous, somebody's going to get hurt."

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Back in 1997, the Leons watched from the stands as the Marlins defeated the Cleveland Indians to clinch the World Series. Almost 16 years later, they are squaring off against the Marlins after they said the team sent them a letter demanding their $25,000 payment for their seats, which they signed up for under a two-year deal.

If the Leons don't pay, the team explained that it could take the couple to court. The Leons said they might have considered paying, if the team moved their seats to a spot they desired or switched the sign for a smaller, less obtrusive version.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Marlins said fan comfort is "of utmost importance to us."

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"We have offered Ms. Leon numerous opportunities to move to a different seat location, and each time she has refused to move. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to relocate the advertising signage that she alleges is blocking her view of certain plays near third base," the statement read. "We would be happy to assist Ms. Leon in relocating her tickets to seats that do not have this allegedly obstructed view. We value our fans and will continue to do our very best to offer them a wonderful baseball experience."

The Leons said they worry their longtime support of the team may now be overshadowed by new fans and new interests.

"You will give to a new fan who has never had a season ticket, but you will dump on the existing fans and treat us like dirt," Jan Leon said.

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