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Originally published Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 9:14 PM

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Lawsuit says pricier large brew at Idaho arena is same as small

The large beer cost $3 more than the small beer, but it contained the same amount of brew. A handful of Idaho hockey fans have sued.


The Associated Press

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BOISE, Idaho — A handful of Idaho hockey fans sued a Boise arena on Tuesday, saying they were duped into thinking a $7 beer contained more brew than a $4 beer.

The lawsuit says CenturyLink Arena, home of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team, defrauded customers by charging $3 more for a tall, narrow cup advertised as a “large” that actually holds the same amount as the shorter, wider cup described as a “small.”

Arena spokesman Mike Campbell said he hadn’t seen the suit so couldn’t comment.

Four fans filed the suit Tuesday in Boise’s 4th District Court against Block 22 LLC, which does business as CenturyLink Arena. Brady Peck, Michele Bonds and William and Brittany Graham are seeking $10,000 in damages.

In the lawsuit, Peck says he’s attended at least 30 events over the past three years at the arena, including a hockey game on March 5, and that he’s purchased beer each time. The other three plaintiffs say they have been attending sporting events at the venue for five years and bought at least one large $7 beer at each event.

“While different shapes, both cup sizes hold substantially the same amount of liquid,” the group’s attorney, Wyatt Johnson, wrote in the lawsuit. “Defendants knowingly sold each of their beers in a similar manner at each event held at the arena where beer was sold for at least the last five years.”

The lawsuit came just two days after another hockey fan posted a video on YouTube of what the fan said was a beer purchased at CenturyLink Arena on March 8. It shows a patron holding a large cup of beer and pouring it into an empty small cup. In both cups, the beer nearly reaches the brim.

Gwen Gibbs, who posted the video, told The Idaho Statesman she was annoyed after seeing her boyfriend, Heath Forsey, pour the large beer into the smaller cup and decided to upload the video. CenturyLink officials announced a short time later that the company would purchase new cups for the large beers that would hold 24 ounces instead of the previous 20 ounces.

Eric Trapp, president of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team and CenturyLink Arena, wrote on the team’s Facebook page that the company had ordered 16- and 20-ounce cups and never intended to mislead customers.

“It’s amazing what can be done with one little video and the power of social media,” Gibbs told the newspaper, joking that she hoped CenturyLink would rename the 24-ounce cups the “Heath and Gwen size.”



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