MIAMI - Big time Marlins fans with season tickets say the baseball team threatened them with a lawsuit after they complained about their seats.
Jan and Bill Leon of Plantation said it was a field of dreams come true when they snagged coveted front row third base seats at Marlins Park for $25,000 a year.
"When the Marlins opened up the new stadium, we got the phone call: ‘Come down and pick out your new seats,'" said Jan.
The Leons told Local 10 they had paid tens of thousands for front row season tickets since 1998, and were thrilled after signing a two-year contract for their new view.
"Fan Fest 2012, gorgeous. Wonderful view. I could see the running track, the field, I could see everything," said Jan.
The Leons said they were shocked to find their view obstructed when they went to an exhibition game last April.
"We went to the Yankees pre-season game and had four inches of padding that extended 18 inches out in front of us, and I couldn't see third base," said Jan.
The Marlins had installed an advertisement billboard that the Leons claim not only blocks their expensive view, but also prevents them from seeing stray balls headed their way.
"One of those foul balls came through. It hit the guy in the second row behind us. You can't see the ball coming," said Bill.
The baseball battle has gone on for nearly a year. The couple said the ball club sent them a letter threatening to sue if they don't pay.
The Leons are calling foul on the fish and told Local 10 they refuse to pay for the 2013 season tickets.
"The contract to me was broken the day they stuck that pad in my face and forced me to sit on a cushion. That's not what I paid for," said Jan.
The Marlins issued a statement Tuesday, saying: "Fan comfort is of upmost importance to us. We go above and beyond to ensure our fans have a great experience at Marlins Park. 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. 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 told Local 10's Baron James they usually watch at least 40 games a season, but will now boycott the team until their view is restored.
"A dollar matters more than the fans," said Jan.
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