SI.com: NFL makes new offer to fans shut out of Super Bowl
Fans react angrily after being told their tickets would not get them seats inside the stadium for the Super Bowl.
February 9th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

SI.com: NFL makes new offer to fans shut out of Super Bowl

Imagine traveling thousands of miles, shelling out even more dollars and getting to the Super Bowl, arguably the biggest day of your life as a fan, only to find out that you don't have a seat.

That's exactly what happened to roughly 400 fans at Super Bowl XLV. Now, the NFL is sweetening its offer after robbing the group of its Super Bowl experience.

The 400 fans were forced to give up their seats at last week's Super Bowl after fire marshals deemed a section of Cowboys Stadium incomplete and uninhabitable. The decision was made just hours before kickoff and left a large cluster of die-hard fans displaced and displeased.

The NFL originally offered to give ticket holders a refund of $2,400 - or three times face value of their tickets - but the fans' complaints grew louder and the NFL was forced to up the ante.

On Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised those fans a ticket to next year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis. But the fans - mostly Packers and Steelers enthusiasts - will be getting even more for their troubles now.

The NFL followed up Tuesday, announcing the 400 fans could choose from a ticket to any future Super Bowl, including next year's, along with airfare and hotel, or the original $2,400 payout.

"We had more time to think about how to create a broader range of options that would better recognize the deep emotional bond that fans have for their team," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Here's what to watch tonight (all times Eastern):

Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks (7:30 p.m., NBATV)

After falling 101-85 to Orlando on Tuesday, Blake Griffin and the Clip Show take their act to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks.

No. 20 North Carolina at No. 5 Duke (9 p.m., ESPN)

One of college basketball's greatest rivalries resumes tonight when the Tar Heels hope to avenge a season sweep by the Blue Devils last season. Duke (21-2) hosts UNC (17-5) at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where Duke has won 32 in a row.

By the numbers

2 - Three-pointers Celtics guard Ray Allen is short of Reggie Miller's career total of 2,560, the most in NBA history. Allen can break the record Thursday when Boston hosts the Los Angeles Lakers.

7 - Days the St. Louis Cardinals have left to reach a contract extension with three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols. The slugger said he would cut off contract negotiations for the season when he reports to training camp on February 16.

35 - Losses for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last 36 games after losing an NBA-record 25th consecutive game Monday. The Cavs look to snap their streak tonight when they host the Pistons (7 p.m. ET).

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Filed under: Baseball • College basketball • NBA • Pro football • Sports
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Are You Kidding

    The offer of next years super bowl is not that great a compensation to see teams you may not care about.
    $2,400 does not come close to covering expenses for this year and certainly does not compensate for breach of contract.
    The NFL is RICH, this was an avoidable occurrence, based on a desire to break a record. They knew over a week ago they may not complete the task on time. You can not convince me that the NFL and Jerry Jones don't have the financial resources to find a way to get the job done. Do you really believe that if the Cowboy's would have been playing that Jerry Jones would have allowed this to happen.
    Any settlement less then $10,000 is unacceptable due to NFL greed and lack of concern for their patrons.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian Chambers

    "The NFL followed up Tuesday, announcing the 400 fans could choose from a ticket to any future Super Bowl, including next year's, along with airfare and hotel, or the original $2,400 payout."

    Still very unfair.

    Option #1) It may match what ticket holders paid, but it doesn't take into account the fact that they must go to two Super Bowls to see one. These people "wasted" days, some by taking time off of work. Now they must do this twice, losing the money their time is worth, in order to get a single Super Bowl experience which will likely be between teams they don't care about.

    Option #2) You get screwed out of airfare and hotel expenses for a trip you planned, with tickets that were SUPPOSED TO GUARANTEE entry into the singular event you took the trip for in the first place. This offer is entirely horrible.

    The NFL needs to pony up and refund flight expenses, hotel expenses, and ticket costs to THIS specific event. It's pure greed that this option hasn't been offered yet, and the NFL deserves any lawsuits that come their way. I'm rooting for those who were screwed over.

    If tact still existed, they'd combine my suggestion with option #1, as a good will effort to demonstrate they actually care about football fans.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Theodore

    They pay a lot of the football players upwards of TEN MILLION dollars each. The least they could do is throw those people $50k or something.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. GregBB

    Suggest: "choose from a ticket to any future Super Bowl, including next year's, along with airfare and hotel + $5,000 now, or a $10,000 payout."

    February 9, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • wilddriversb

      I agree with your suggestion, that's more in line with what they deserve. Though, make sure when they sign for the payout you sneak in a contract which says they won't sue the NFL lol.

      February 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. midnitejax

    I wouldn't settle for crumbs either. And that is exactly what the NFL is offering. First and foremost, the tickets should never have been sold if they were not readily available. Secondly, the offering to let them stand when they should have had seating was a bait and switch tactic that is illegal. Third..why in the world was anyone allowed to set foot in the stadium if it was deemed that seating was "unihabitable"? As a homeowner or buyer or seller there are what we call a Certificate of Occupancy. Without it you cannot occupy the residence legally. If the residence is delcared "uninhabitable" guess what happens? That's right.......you have to have the needed repairs made to pass the inspection. Why is there an exception for the NFL? Money.. that's why. Greed! So why should a victim settle for the paltry offerings? They make a lot of money off of fans, and yet they felt it was okay to pull a fast one on them. I say sue the living @$!# out of them.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • This is all so dumb

      Written like a true American. Why does it always come to lawsuits? Certainly the NFL could sweeten the deal – they made enough off the game to offer them much more, but are they obligated to do so? From what I have read in the different articles, the snow hampered the progress of completing the seating sections and the Fire Marshal made a decision just hours before kick-off. This is an unfortunate situation but not fraud and not something the NFL needs to get sued over. It's life...it sucks...get over it and take the deal. Street value of the package for an upcoming Super Bowl will likely be well over what they were out from this venture.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeannieb62

      @ This is all so dumb – Yes, you may be correct, however, this is the society we live in. The world is run by corporate power and, therefore, corporate law. It's the only language corporations understand. Lawsuits and dollar satisfaction is the only real justice someone can get and really the one way to be heard by the real powers that be.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    I agree with the one poster. Why would you take precious vacation time from the job and go to such craziness like this? I'll go to Hawaii, thank you..

    February 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. !@#$! happens

    How about a warm " !@#$! happens and here's your refunded ticket price and be done with them. READ the small print on the actual ticket. If its like most tickets it carries a tuff !@#! it aint our fault disclaimer clause for refund of original price only.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      I don't think a disclaimer covers outright fraud. Go ahead and sell a house or car you don't actually have. Wanna bet someone is going to drag your sorry tail into court with cuffs?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeannieb62

      @midnitejax – Good analogy "selling a house or car you don't have". I think that some of the commenters are not understanding that breach of contract and fraud is what this is about. It's not as if 400 people were no shows due to delayed air flight so then perhaps the disclaimer on the ticket would apply. This is about a situation that is the fault of the NFL, one for which they knew full well was happening. They pay their lawyers enough money to advise them as they are making decisions and to make them aware of the consequences of their greed. Trying to fill the stadium to such a capacity. Simple, don't sell something you don't have.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lefty LaRue

    This is deplorable. The fans should be refunded their original purchase price and maybe given a stipend to cover their travel/lodging costs. But what happens? These people complain until they are given this absurd appeasement deal. And they still have the audacity to whine about it.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. randaxe

    They should give both! The $2400 and the free ticket/travel to any future superbowl.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. just me

    yep the nfl told the winter storm to come right on in and dump snow all over the area so that the seats couldnt be used and they would have to shell out money....the article said that this ruling by the fire marshall was made just hrs before the start personally i think my saftey and that of those around me is more important than a game and they are being compensated in some way so be grateful

    February 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      The snow wasn't a factor in the seating. The NFL arranged for additional seating to be constructed so they could sell more tickets. The NFL was greedy enough to gamble on selling tickets for seating they didn't yet have in place. I'll bet no one told the buyers when they purchsed the tickets. They were hustled by a greedy NFL.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Are You Kidding

      It was reported that the NFL knew they might not get the seats installed up to 1 and 1/2 weeks prior to the game, and made a call to not contact the ticket holders. Can't blame the storm for that.

      February 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bobbb

    The NFL is getting closer. It should be both the $2700 and an all expenses paid trip to next year's Super Bowl. Don't forget those $900 parking spots, the party and then the after party. Also, time off from work-some of those people did not plan time off for next year. It's only 400 people out of 100,000. I'm sure the NFL could get a sweetheart deal for a group of 400, all in the same hotel, shuttle buses, a block of seats similiar to those they would have had Sunday. Otherwise a class action sounds pretty likely-and you know what that means: 50% more for lawyers

    February 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • TW

      So you're telling me these people paid $100 doallars more for parking than the tickets? C'mon I highly doubt it! I agree with your offer: "It should be both the $2700 and an all expenses paid trip to next year's Super Bowl". I also agree they need to be compensated somehow for the time off they took from work.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eMILY

    IS THAT A JOKE? HAHAHA...SERIOUSLY, ARE THOSE PEOPLE EFFECTED REALLY THAT STUPID TO TAKE THEM UP ON THE NEW DEAL OR THE OLD ONE? REIMBURSEMENT IN TOTAL PLUS THE NEW DEAL...NOW YOU'RE TALKING!!!

    February 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      The word is "affected". And turn your caps off please.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. George Jetson

    Now all we need is a bonehead or two to get fired. I just wonder why they didn't have the simple common sense and decency to contact these fans in advance and at least tell them not to bother to travel all the way to Dallas. Bottom line, they didn't even stop to consider the fans beforehand.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • midnitejax

      I agree. They schemed to sell tickets for something they didn't have in place. The NFL got caught.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bobbb

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity these people were looking forward to. Many had to schedule time off from work which isn't easy to do and they may have already had plans for next year. Did you see how angry those peoople were? The emotional distress seemed mile high. They got all worked up excited and traveled right there, they got right to the stadium inches from revelry and 4 hours of excitement we call The Super Bowl! The NFL better give them twice what they deserve or take a serious black eye in the public face.

    February 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ekford

    ...Jerry Jones should still be held accountable for a part of all this!
    Its his 'perfect' stadium and obviously part of that stadium wasnt finished!

    February 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
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