By Andrea Kunicky
Imagine spending hundreds or ever thousands of dollars on Super Bowl tickets to watch your favorite team play plus add in all of the travel expenses just to be turned away from your seats?! That's what happened to more than 1,200 ticket holders at Cowboys Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. 850 people were relocated to other seats and about 400 others were denied seats altogether because sections of temporary bleachers were declared unsafe and unusable.
The 400 affected ticket holders were brought inside the stadium and allowed to watch the game on monitors in a field-level club area or from standing-room locations at each corner of the stadium and were promised refunds by the NFL worth three times the face value of their tickets, which were mostly around $800 or $900 a piece.
Another item added to the list… the NFL will also provide free tickets to the 2012 Super Bowl to those affected fans.
And…why did this all happen? The NFL and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones were trying to break the Super Bowl attendance mark of 103,985, set at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA in 1980, by putting in temporary stands above the end zones, along the sidelines and selling standing-room only tickets on stairwells. The work was not fully completed and some of the seats remained vacant because of safety concerns.
“We apologize to those fans that were impacted by this,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a press briefing. “We will certainly do a thorough review and get to the bottom of why it all occurred, but we take full responsibility for that.”
I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan and if I had the chance to get a ticket to the most important game of the year knowing this could be a once in a lifetime experience, to then arrive and be denied my seat… I can certainly understand why many fans could be in an uproar. The NFL did a smart thing by addressing the situation in a prompt and efficient way and giving away some high priced items in return, but that will never take away the experience these fans could have had, especially watching their favorite team in the big game. You can’t refund an experience like that.
I’m sure the NFL will address this situation thoroughly and will take all the precautions to not make this mistake in a future event.
Andrea Kunicky is an Account Executive at Maroon PR. Contact her at Andrea@MaroonPR.com