Resources & Insights

When sports fans divorce: Who gets the World Series tickets?

The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and have not appeared in a World Series since 1945 (when they lost to the Detroit Tigers).

But now, with the Cubs in the World Series, tickets to the 3 games in Chicago are the hottest commodity available.  I heard the average re-sale ticket price was over $3,000 for a single seat!

As you can imagine with a very limited time supply and a huge demand, people were going nuts to try and get a ticket.  I don’t think even President Obama could get a ticket and he is from Chicago!

And now for the “interesting” family law questions about those season tickets.

So with a married couple in Chicago separating and both spouses being huge Cubs fans there was the inevitable debate over who is getting the tickets to the one game they had tickets for?

The wife filed an emergency petition seeking to get the tickets.

The husband was able to get the tickets because he had purchased a ticket package deal for the season with some friends before the separation.

In this case the judge ruled that the husband gets to keep these tickets so long as he took their 12 year old son to the game and the husband was ordered to purchase a ticket for the wife in a comparable seating area.  With tickets going for around $3,000 on StubHub that will be a very expensive game for this couple to attend.

In trying to convince the judge that this was an “emergency” that required immediate court intervention, the wife argued that it would be extremely unlikely that the Cubs will reach the World Series again in her lifetime given that they haven’t been in the Series in 71 years.  The husband’s lawyer relied on the old adage  “Hope Springs Eternal” to argue that there is a greater likelihood that the Cubbies will be back sooner rather than later.

By: Douglas Manning, Partner, Certified Specialist in Family Law