The SuperBowl isn’t just a game, it’s an event, and for anyone who gets a magical ticket to the game, it can be a wondrous and memorable experience to watch the final game of an NFL season. For 400 people looking to experience this Sunday, this night will be remembered for a different reason, it will be remembered for the seats they didn’t get.
In an attempt to break the all-time attendance record for a SuperBowl, the Dallas Cowboys created temporary seating to allow the number of fans needed to exceed the record. While good in theory, it didn’t turn out that way as they weren’t completed in time to allow all the people who bought tickets for these seats to watch the game in person.
With two hours remaining before kickoff, the stadium staff were frantically trying to construct the sections needed to seat the 1250 fans that would be affected. Unfortunately, they were only able to seat the majority of the group, leaving 400 unlucky fans without seats to one of the biggest events in their life.
"Incomplete installation of temporary seats in a limited number of sections made the seats unusable," the NFL said in a statement. "The safety of fans attending the Super Bowl was paramount in making the decision and the NFL, Dallas Cowboys and City of Arlington officials are in agreement with the resolution. We regret the situation and inconvenience that it may have caused. We will conduct a full review of this matter."
The 400 fans were reimbursed heavily for their lost seats as they were refunded four times the initial $800 ticket price. They were also allowed inside the stadium to watch the game on monitors in the North Field Club behind the Pittsburgh bench or had the option of viewing the game from standing-room platforms in each corner of the stadium.
In addition to this, these unlucky few were apparently given free food and merchandise to help ease the sting of the Cowboys bungled seating.
In another bit of bad luck for the stadium, the NFL had to close off 4 of the 10 entrance points into the stadium Sunday because of lingering ice on the roof of the stadium. This was a direct result of 6 people getting injured Friday due to ice and snow falling off the top of the dome onto the sidewalk outside of the structure. The closing of the gates took a wait that would normally be a 15 minute affair and turned into a grueling experience that lasted over an hour.
"It was just so long," Dallas resident Brian Shake said. "Problem was, you didn’t know if you were in the right line or not. Everywhere you looked, there were just fences and screens and you couldn’t get in anywhere."
The fudged up seating was the direct cause for this SuperBowl not breaking the seating record and may go along way in whether or not this stadium will host another such game in the future.