Longtime season ticket holder irate with Chiefs’ decision to sell his tickets

Posted on: 9:29 pm, December 26, 2013, by , updated on: 08:37am, December 27, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ever since Tom Lyons moved to the Kansas City metro more than 30 years ago, he’s been a Kansas City Chiefs’ fanatic. He’s stuck with them through their highs and lows.

“I was vested with the Chiefs,” Lyons said.

That was until this month, when he got the bad news.

“The only way I found out, I happened to call them to buy more tickets. (They said) You can’t buy more. You can’t even have yours,” he recalled.

This 20-year season ticket holder was suddenly ticketless. He was told that the suite he shared with another company on the 50-yard line and paid $41,000 for last year, had been sold four weeks earlier when the Chiefs were undefeated at 9-0.

“Everyone in that suite got booted and everyone in the suite next to us got booted,” Lyons said.

Lyons, the owner and CEO of a national travel agency, said he would have gladly tried to match any price offered for the suite if the Chiefs had just given him the opportunity. It’s an opportunity he believes he deserves after decades as a loyal fan.

“It’s easy to sell a suite when your team is 9-0, but what about when you are 2-14?” Lyons asked.

But he said the Chiefs’ sales office wouldn’t budge and instead offered him six bar stools in a different suite, higher up in the stadium and on the end zone.

“From a suite with leather seats to that?” Lyons said.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ ticket contract states that a Chiefs ticket is a renewable, but revocable license and it can be taken away at any time for nearly any reason. A spokesman for the Chiefs told FOX 4 Problem Solvers that suites are treated differently than regular season tickets. Once a suite contract is nearing an end, as it was in the case of Mr. Lyons’ suite, the suite is placed back on the open market.

The Chiefs wouldn’t say who the suite was sold to, except that it was a “longtime Chiefs fan.” While what happened to Mr. Lyons may be perfectly legal, Lyons said it’s tough staying loyal to a team that has shown no loyalty to him.

“If they can’t do anything for me, I’m looking for another NFL team, ” Lyons said. “They don’t even have to be good.”

The Chiefs tell Problem Solvers that it is still trying to find a way to win back Mr. Lyons’ support.

52 comments

  • Deni says:

    This is ridiculous! Why wouldn’t they at least give him first right of refusal? Sounds like there’s something not so on the up and up going on here.

  • Jason Heck says:

    Does ANYONE proofread these when you put these up? Seriously? “Kansas City Chief’s fan”? “You can’t even have your’s”?

    I get that interns throw this stuff together. Try and recruit better ones. Seriously.

  • Flynn says:

    What the Chiefs did is bad, but it’s sorta hard to have sympathy for a guy who is disappointed that his new, less awesome suite doesn’t even have leather seats. I mean, how can you even enjoy a football game in person without leather seats?

  • Steve Main says:

    Best seats in the house are on my couch.

    • aaron rimkus says:

      Word up, BOOYYYYYYYY!!!, just think of all your missing. The empty wallet from spending a weeks pay on tickets, parking, 10 dollar beers etc. The aforementioned 10$ beers spilled down your back as the guy behind you gets a little over excited watching vastly overpaid guys run up and down a pasture toting a inflated rubber bladder covered in pigskin. The deafening noise of 80,000 people screaming in your ears, using language that would make Satan himself blush. Let’s not forget freezing various body parts off, just to watch a bunch of guys who if you were to approach them on the street would smack you, spit in your face, or have one of their “posse” members do it. If your lucky on your way out of the stadium you might get to see a bunch of drunken idiots fighting, or maybe even get to see a guy beat to death!!! WOOOHOOOO!!! Good Times!

  • Stephen Wood says:

    Here is the scoop. A man who owns a travel agency and HAS MONEY is willing to spend 40k and up for his suite seats and the Chiefs don’t even consider him, a FAITHFUL supporter. The Chiefs gave him really bad service and I don’t blame him, I would leave too. If Clark Hunt found out what was going on here, he would be fuming angry. Sad to say, this goes on a lot with the Chiefs. Thank God that I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a suite when I can listen to Mitch, Len and Kendall Gammon over the internet. If they want his loyalty back, THEN GIVE HIM HIS SUITE BACK AND CUT THE PRICES FOR HIS SUITE as a show of appreciation and better business policy. Simply put, apologize to him by doing that gesture.

    • Todd says:

      YES!! I agree. Well said. Clark Hunt I hope you step up and show some leadership.

    • Yes! I agree! Only the rich should be allowed to have the best seats. Forget everybody else. No common folk allowed. Going to an NFL game is now only for the privileged. If you want to go to a game and get good seats, you are living in a dream world. It is a shame that even people that have gained fortune on their own now view themselves as more worthy than others to see a game from somewhere other than a spot reserved for people only like them.

  • a99weeker says:

    First… at a bare minimum, the Chiefs organization should split the suite 50/50 with the “new” owner at a 50% cost. Second… wasn’t there some kind of phone call, USPS letter, email sent to the OP that the suite contract was about to expire and needed to be renewed by XX date? Third… most likely these tickets were a business write-off (investment) to entertain clients. Lastly, it is pretty sad and telling about our “society” when so much time is expended talking about $41,000 suite seats – when there are much bigger problems that need to be resolved in Kansas City as a whole.

  • DR says:

    What difference does the amount make? It’s a loyalty issue. If they were $5 seats (use your imagination) that were sold out from under him, it would still be a crappy thing to do to a loyal fan.

    • GS says:

      I agree with DR. This is a terrible way to treat a loyal customer. Hope Fox4 keeps us updated and puts this, front and center, on their television broadcast.

    • Gayla Fisher says:

      Since he was one of the few that stayed loyal to them through all the bad times and has been faithful to them for 30 years and paid that money every year for that same suite, I think he deserves to continue to have the seats, good or bad, he has earned them after 30 years of paying. How many other people wanted to go watch when they were losing all the games, but he was there. Come on people, where are your moral values ? Appreciate your loyal fans especially 30 year fans! Whether you think it is right or wrong, the RIGHT, thing to do is let him have the seats he has sat in for 30 years continue. He is faithful — how about you, do you not appreciate your dedicated fans ???

  • Shannon says:

    Wow. Having dealt with people on the business side of the Chiefs, this really doesn’t surprise me though. We’ve been dealing with our own issues with the business side for about 2 months now, basically getting screwed by them, and it makes this long time fan have a VERY hard time cheering for the team on Sundays. :-/ I feel for Mr. Lyons.

  • Melanie Miller says:

    Maybe they can take a this extra $$$ they’re making this season, & donate to the KCMPSD!!! Put the $$ where the city needs it. But, I do agree, he should have been informed, & given the chance to match it!

  • RoQQie says:

    Unbelievable. This can’t be the whole story. Sell his suite he has had for many years and not even a phone call? How can they stand behind this policy? Businesses can do whatever they like. Policy or not this gentleman should’ve been given the heads up. Common courtesy.

  • Dan says:

    Typical behavior; The chiefs should go and make it right – tell the new person that they made a mistake and then offer both parties the opportunity to bid on it.

  • Tim says:

    Yo dawg, your suite is sweet and since yo money ain’t as sweet as this other guy’s who wants this suite we gonna put yo sweet a$$ in this other suite that ain’t sheet.

  • david says:

    You may not know it, but the National Football League is a nonprofit organization. It may seem absurd that a collection of teams that generated at least $9 billion in revenue last season would be given tax-exempt status, but the NFL is technically classified as a 501(c)6 organization. Here’s how the IRS describes 501(c)6 tax-exempt status:

  • Grandma Terry says:

    I’m a Chief’s fan, win or lose but not right or wrong. It’s a legal/business decision. It was still dirty. He should have been notified. Money is money. Now I see the business side of my favorite team is just as evil as any other money grubber. Where were these high rollers when my baby boys were losing? Karma . . . just hope it doesn’t hit the ones who don’t deserve it.

  • Jacki B says:

    This is the problem with loyalty, it all comes down to money! If the Chiefs were having a bad season, the Chiefs ticket office would be glad Mr. Lyons had kept his suite tickets but because they are having a winning season, money talks! I wonder when the new “owner” of the tickets realizes this is the suite they “bought” out from under Mr. Lyons, that they feel terrible, they may not even know unless they see it on the news. It sounds like the season tickets became “available” to buy and if one could afford it, why wouldn’t they jump on it! Mr. Lyons should’ve been given clear opportunity to renew his season tickets and for the same price whether they have a winning or losing season. Shame on the Chiefs for letting money talk, don’t you think you make enough money from your fans already!

  • Where do these decision makers come from that only think in terms of money? The football teams(Chiefs included) rake in the money and may not be a “for profit” business but sure do bet that they are making a profit. They just live off of us and don’t have to do the tax thing, and when it comes time that they want more they threaten to move or do something else drastic. Billion dollar organizations worrying about $40,000 overpaid to the state in taxes and bitchin because their stadium has some chipped pain or whatever. I had season tickets long ago, but let them go and never have I regretted it. Why be loyal when the team you support screws you every chance it gets? Now maybe this guy has a suite and pays big bucks for it, but he did it every year even in the crappy years and this is how he is repaid.

  • Shawn Thomas says:

    Welcome to the rest of the doggy doggy world where your money is of no value no matter how valuable you think it may be.

  • John says:

    This sounds amazingly like the same type of customer service that the Royals are using now! Not surprising since several of the customer service reps for the Chiefs started with the Royals organization….

  • Rj Keitchen says:

    This is just another fantastic example of how the Chiefs ownership group and management really doesn’t care about this city or it’s fans.

    I gave up on the Chiefs long ago for some of these very same reasons, and have now been a season ticket holder with Sporting KC for the last 3 years. Not nearly the same sport, totally different atmosphere and game, but the ownership group for Sporting KC have proven over and over again that they actually care about this city and it’s fans. The bend over backwards to keep their fans happy.

    I wish the Chiefs would do the same, but for them in the end it’s not about winning, or keeping fans, it’s just about the almighty $.

  • Hey Chiefs personnel, the only way to make this right is give Mr. Lyon’s his original suite back………………….sorry but the others guy should not have had the chance to purchase until Mr. Lyon turned them down……..so

  • Jon Bowers says:

    What a terrible way to do business. I will have to share this story with friends and family. Suites are the way to go, I tried to get one at Sporting Park, but they were booked. Those are really hard to get. One thing for sure I wont ever spend money on a suite at Arrowhead.

    I get it, the contract was ending but the way the Chiefs treated this fan…a 20 year season ticket holder? 20 years? All the friends and family he brought to the games to cheer the Chiefs and he gets treated like a drunk tailgater. When he shares this story with everyone who he brought to the game, and then they share the story, and then those share. You get the point, over the next few months negative imagery about how loyal fans are treated will spread.

    Shame on the Chiefs (not the players!). Is Pioli still running operations there? Apparently the best seat in the house is at your home. At least the Chiefs cant kick you out of there.

  • George Sharp says:

    Poor baby, economy in the tank, soldiers being killed and maimed in Afghanistan, unemployment high, and all this dirtbag can worry about is his $41,000 suite. What a pathetic POS.

    • Jon Bowers says:

      wow. You never met this person and you are calling him a POS. So because someone is successful he is a POS? You know nothing, and never will with your attitude.

      • Chris says:

        Jon,

        Guys like George Sharp are too wrapped up in their own ignorance and stupidity to waste time and energy engaging in a dialogue. All you can really do is pity him since he is condemning himself to a life of jealousy, anger and frustration by wasting his life by spending his time calling those who are more successful than him a “POS”.

      • Only the rich get the best seats. Don’t give me a lecture on egalitarianism.

  • Dave Parre says:

    If this is indicative of how the Chiefs operate these days, perhaps I’ll look to support another team as well. After 50 years it’s probably time. Clark, your organization is a disgrace to your fathers’ name. Go Broncos.

  • DC says:

    A family member has a suite with a college team, they would never think of selling his suite out from under him without contacting first.

    More going on here, would be my guess. Like who is the new suite owner??

  • todd hitchner says:

    Well, I would say I have sympathy but here is the bottom line….back in 1990 i paid 18/game for nosebleed seats, the fans were few and not very loyal, well my friends and I stuck it out for the next 15 yrs or so until the prices got to be too much….why? because all the people with money came in and paid the escalating prices, they bought up the seats around us and it went from a loud boisterous team supporting crowd to a golf clap and “sit down so we can see the game” crowd…well those seats went for 90/game and over 25 to park and i decided to unload them…..my love for the game went away when the very people that supported and made the NFL what it was, a blue collar man’s game where he could take his family for a good time on the weekends, forge memories with his children that they will remember for eternity, to a game run by the rich…..now it has turned into players abusing PEDs, convicted felons and murderers being allowed to played (for the draw of $$$$) and other bad examples for our children….and the very person who was on the cusp of doing this kind of thing that drove me away is NOW SAD THAT HE HAS BEEN TREATED THIS SAME WAY????? it’s called KARMA….enjoy it Mr Lyons…..personally i wont watch a single down of the NFL anymore, including the big game….i do not support any sports since they whine about money…..the players all complained they needed bigger contracts, why? because their playing careers were shortened by injuries….i agreed with that, but now those very players are suing the NFL and its teams for head injuries…..well then what were the big paydays for that caused tickets to skyrocket????……screw pro sports

  • Deb Linder says:

    I’ll repeat what I said in yesterday’s post:
    All you haters in here griping about how much money he has ?? Wow. I personally know Tom, and you don’t have a CLUE how generous this man is. If they had done a news segment on all the contributions he’s made, acts of kindness, etc..it would of taken the entire 60 min. He earned his money the hard way, not from a rich family. So before you judge someone, take a look at yourself.

    • Deb Doesn't Know says:

      Deb,

      Some of us personally DO know Tom Lyons. He hasn’t earned his money the “hard way”, just check out the hundreds of reviews on Rip Off Report for Global Connections. The man has swindled millions from hard working people by forming a basic time-share scam. If you ask me and many other pissed off customers, this man has had it coming for a long time and should be reported for fraud.

  • me says:

    First World Problems?

    • Hey, you know. The rich people have it really tough when they get all fired up up about losing $40,000 per year seats that the rest of us could only dream about. Yes! And the media covered it too! NFL games are now out of reach for most families to attend. It has become gentrified. It would be nice if I could take my family to a game, but the rich have made it unaffordable. The rich have all the best seats. The rich have the luxurious suites. The rest of attendants are lured in just to to fill up the seats that are left over to legitimize the greed that goes on. The prices at the concessions can’t be afforded by average people without a huge sacrifice from somewhere else -usually from their families. It has become group-think on steroids.

  • TK says:

    Says he’s been with them through the highs and lows the last 30 years. Can anyone clue me in where the “highs” were the last 30 years??

  • Franklin says:

    He’s also the CFO of title boxing club.. Wonder why that’s not listed

  • You know. It sure does get tougher and tougher to be rich these days. You have to feel sorry for this poor, poor rich guy. And to think folks like him accuse people making $15.00 an hour of having an entitlement mentality. What do you suppose the Nobility must be thinking about this bazaar concept of equal treatment! You have to wonder how much of a raise this guy gave his employees last year.

  • just as Chris answered I didnt even know that a person can get paid $8602 in 4 weeks on the computer. why not look here…
    j­­­­­o­­­­b­­­­s­­­­7­­­­­9­.c­­­­o­­­­­­m

  • River Rat Ron says:

    Chiefs fans have been taking it in the rear from the big wigs for decades…
    It’s all about the bottom line, not sports….

  • Rita says:

    They sell it before his time was up? They wanted to put it on the market before his time was up? Sounds like a lawyers job to me.. p

  • Larry Vaughn says:

    Casey Long you just don’t get it do you. It has nothing to do with how much money anybody does or doesn’t have. It comes down to what’s right and what’s wrong. And for your information I am much closer to your situation than Mr. Lyons situation. I haven’t even been in the parking lot for 25years so why don’t you give me some of your money.

  • Tina says:

    being from NH I have to agree with Sheri . Go Pats!
    Although I have been in KC 10 yrs now ..Pats are consistant!

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