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One of the 400 NFL fans who lost his seat at Super Bowl XLV (after temporary seating at Cowboys Stadium was closed off by the fire marshals), reached out to us today in order to tell his side of the story.
Rather than try to judge who is in the right and who is the wrong – we’ve done enough of that this week — we’ll just publish the whole email in its entirety and let Scott tell his story. (Emphasis added by us in a few key places):
“I just read your article in Business Insider and would like to tell you that I am one of the “lucky 400” who was “treated” to a below the field lounge with no field view for Super Bowl XLV instead of sitting in the seats that I purchased. Boy, what a treat! To me and many others this whole event was not well planned and the information you may have gotten from the league sounds quite different from what I and the other 399 experienced.
To start with, it took us almost two hours just to get into the stadium as the path with barriers to guide us was all messed up. Twice we were in lines following people inside the arranged “chutes” only to come to a dead end and have to start over. No one was outside to provide information or direct us. It took some of the fans 2 1/2 hours to get in. Evidently they did not use all of the stadium gates because of the snow and ice issues from Friday in which several people were injured from falling snow. The final 200 feet or so into the ticket tent and security screen was all mud. Is there no gravel or plywood in Texas?
We made it through ticketing, but others were flagged and had to go about a half mile to the Rangers stadium from where many were sent on another route trying to resolve their issues. Some of those lucky folks got to join us later.
Once in the stadium, the bathroom we went to was already out of towel paper by 4:45. [Ed: Kick off was 5:30 local time] We climbed the stairs to the 400s section. I do not know if there are any escalators or elevators, but we never saw any.
Climbing to and arriving at Section 425A we were stopped and told that our seats were not available and that we could not go in. Someone would be coming to take care of things. We had stopped just to take a picture at Standing Room Only and were kicked out. I never did get an above field picture. As our crowd gathered finally “someone” came and simply said “follow me” and took off with about 50 very frustrated fans chasing him. Just a thought, but maybe some type of explanation at that time was warranted. He did not wait or look out for any of the fans he just “went” with many of us running behind.
We ended up at a freight elevator as well a another elevator neither of which operated. Finally we were told we could walk the rest of the way to the “Field Level,” which believe me was never explained. Arriving at Field Level we found a lounge with NO field view. We were actually below field level. I did get to see a number of the Steeler rear ends, but hey I am a Packer fan. We tried to question security, police etc. as to what was going on and they did not know anything.
One crew member actually told the group “we were lucky” to get in — what a great guy! The “someone” who led us to the “promised land” bailed on us without another word. We were stuck. There were a lot of tears. My son and I finally went to get a drink which we paid for. Later we were given two complimentary beverages, but believe me we were not comped for the whole first quarter.
We got in just at kick off and while there were flat screens we did not see the Troy Aikman/Joe Buck broadcast, but rather some type of in-house feed. It was a delayed feed so what we saw had just happened on the field. There was no sound at first, though there was some sound later. It did not show down and distance nor the play clock and, as an example, on the first punt muffed by Tramon Williams we never saw the punt just the muff from a field camera view so we did not get the benefit of the usual numerous Super Bowl TV angles.
There was some food at half time, but it was not announced so by the time I got there not much was left. Frankly, I think that had it not been for the character of the Packer and Steeler fans this situation could have been a lot worse. As Packer fans we cheered when we could and made the most of a very difficult situation. We did our high fives and hugged on the Packer successes and certainly at the end of the game, but we really did not get to see the game as intended. I had lost track and did not realise it was fourth down on the last Pittsburgh pass because there was no down and distance.
I was at the 1967 Ice Bowl with my dad and wanted to share the same experience with one of my sons. We did not get to see any of the pre-game, the teams take the field, the live National Anthem, the halftime show and certainly not the game itself between the two great teams we had paid for and planned to see. We could only celebrate a great win by the Pack “below” the field as no confetti fell on our heads; only more tears. We did not get to witness the excitement of being at the Super Bowl when “your” team won. Yes, we did get to go on the field and though it was a nice gesture, it was about 20-30 minutes after the game and all of the hoopla and the players, except for Aaron Rodgers and the ESPN interview, had left.
The NFL and the Stadium had an inkling this could happen as early as Tuesday of Super Bowl week. Why not plan accordingly for any contingency? They could have tried to work seats out in another fashion just in case. They could have tried to “rearrange” some of the seats to those who were not Packer and Steeler fans as they did for the 850 really “lucky ones”. They could have made calls to the “Secondary Market” and secured 1,500 tickets that were available on Tuesday or Wednesday just in case.
Had the temporary seats been done they easily could have resold those tickets on Sunday and recouped their losses. Word is that Cowboy Stadium has had issues with temporary seating, before though I can’t verify that. Maybe the ego burst to break the attendance record never should have happened. When was the Super Bowl awarded to Jerry Jones and Cowboy Stadium — 2007? [Ed.: It was May 2007.]
I am the only one left of the four of us that attended the Ice Bowl in Green Bay in 1967 as the other three have passed away, but I have memories that will last forever. That is what we really wanted for our wives, friends, loved ones, and for my son. We thought we were going to get the chance of a lifetime to watch a great game between two Super teams that played their hearts out. We did everything we could to see the game but that never happened and those memories can never be replaced.
Believe me I am not trying to make a name for myself but I have seen too many articles that painted too rosy a picture. Evidently there has been a lawsuit of some kind filed in Texas today though I think that may be in regard to the other “ticket issues” regarding the Cowboys. Nevertheless, as a result I do not know that I should comment in regards to the offers [made by the NFL]. However, it seems apparent that the “offers” must not be meeting the expectations due to the loss of seats at the game. I never received one of the “offer” sheets that was going around as no one came through the group to pass them out. I still have my ticket.
Scott Richards-Go Packers
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