Super Bowl Ticket Fiasco Leaves Disappointed Fans Seatless

More than 1,000 Super Bowl attendees were denied seats at Cowboys Stadium yesterday, due to a snafu that resulted in 1,250 temporary seats being deemed unfit for occupancy. While alternate seats were eventually procured for some football fans, the <"">Super Bowl ticket fiasco left more than 400 people without a place to watch the battle between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers in Cowboys Stadium.

Cowboys Stadium officials had planned to add 15,000 seats to boost the facility’s capacity — usually about 81,000 — in an effort to break the Super Bowl attendance record. But 1,250 of those Super Bowl seats were not finished on time, and the fire marshal declared them unsafe.

While officials were aware of the potential Super Bowl ticket problem earlier in the week, they had apparently hoped it would be resolved by game day. As a result, those with Super Bowl tickets for non-existent seats were not informed of the problem until they arrived at Cowboys Stadium. Some ticket holders, in fact, made it all the way to their useless seats, only to be turned away and told to leave Cowboys Stadium.

It took hours to find a solution to the problem, and the Super Bowl ticket holders were forced to wait outside the stadium, many missing the first quarter of the game. Those left seatless were eventually sent away to watch the game elsewhere, or invited to watch the game on televisions inside a club at the stadium.

“That’s terrific,” Steelers fan Paul Colavecchi told the Associated Press. “That’s why we fronted five grand for this trip, so we could watch the game in a bar.”

Affected Super Bowl ticket holders were given a letter saying they would be reimbursed three times the $800 face value of the tickets, but few were happy with that concession. Super Bowl tickets for weeks had been in high demand because the game featured two teams – the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers – with fan bases that are among the most passionate in the NFL. As a result, many of those turned away at Cowboys Stadium had paid far more than the face value for their Super Bowl ticket. They had also spent additional thousands on transportation, food and lodging.

And in the end, this Super Bowl didn’t even set the attendance record. According to the Detroit Free Press, attendance was 103,219, just short of the 103,985 who saw the Rams-Steelers play Super Bowl XIV at the Rose Bowl.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell today promised a “thorough review” of entire debacle.

“We don’t have all the answers,” Goodell said this morning. “We put on this event. It is the responsibility of the NFL. It was obviously a failure on our part. We take responsibility for that.”

Goodell said the about 400 paying customers who were unable to watch the game from inside Cowboys Stadium will be invited to next year’s Super Bowl as league guests

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