Jones: ‘Fragile’ Cowboys needed a lift
“I underline the word fragile. “America’s Team!” Fragile? We’re underlining fragile? The Dallas Cowboys need a win, and we need it early. We’ve seen the rut.”
Kidding aside, Jones has a point.
In their zeal to set a Super Bowl attendance record, the NFL and Jerry Jones overlooked one important detail: Making sure all the temporary seats inside mammoth Cowboys Stadium had been inspected and were ready for the fans. A week plagued by poor weather took an embarrassing turn Sunday when the league had to find replacement seats for 850 fans. The officer said the winter storms that struck Dallas earlier had set back work on the temporary seats.
That didn't matter to fans who felt they had been deceived by the league and Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner who had hoped some 105,000 people would watch the game inside and outside the stadium. As for those 400 fans, not even a hefty refund offer from the NFL was enough to satisfy them for losing their seats. We just want to see the game." The NFL said 850 fans were put in "similar or better seats." As for the rest, the NFL first offered to let the fans watch the game in the outdoor plazas. Then, shortly after kickoff, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said they had been allowed into the field-level club behind the Pittsburgh Steelers bench, where they could watch the game on monitors.
The fans "watched game in club w/free food, soft drinks + merchandise," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted. NFL + Cowboys staff and families gave up seats."
I didn't have to take a plane trip to Texas to watch the game on TV, and I certainly didn't buy a ticket so I could watch the game in a bar."
Seating woes are the latest frustration for the first Super Bowl in the Dallas area.
In the upper deck, there were off-limits seats in the same rows as seats that were deemed safe. "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," the NFL said in a statement. About 15,000 temporary seats were added to the stadium in a bid to set the record for the largest crowd in Super Bowl history. The temporary seats filled open platforms that are usually standing-room only "party pass" areas for Cowboys games. Rich McCandless of Butler, Pa., was at the game with his son, Rich Jr. AP Pro Football Writer Jaime Aron, AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins and AP Video Reporter Haven Daley contributed.
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