Monday, February 7, 2011
DALLAS — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday took full responsibility for the ticket problems that forced 400 fans to miss a chance to watch Super Bowl XLV from inside Cowboys Stadium. And he said the NFL will make good.
"It's obviously a failure on our part, and we have to take responsibility for that," Goodell told reporters.
Goodell said the fans who couldn't sit inside the stadium would be reimbursed for three times the face value of their tickets and would be invited to next year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis at no cost.
He didn't specify whether travel arrangements would be paid for by the NFL.
In addition, fans able to attend but subjected to long pregame delays, and were told they might not be able to watch from inside the stadium, will be offered a full refund for their tickets' face value.
"For the 400 people who couldn't get into the (stadium) bowl, we're going to be reaching out to them and inviting them to the Super Bowl next year," Goodell said. "We'll bring them to the Super Bowl as guests of the NFL."
The installation of temporary seats was at issue, as inspectors from the Arlington police and fire departments determined some seats couldn't be used because of potential safety problems.
Fans who were expecting to attend the game but were hastily informed that they couldn't were furious.
Dan and Sandee McKinnon of Winneconne, Wis., were among the unhappy fans, though they did get in and ended up in the clubhouse. They were celebrating their 17th anniversary at the game.
"We missed the whole first quarter and part of the second," Sandee McKinnon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "After an hour, to an hour and a half in line, they told us to go back to our seats. They said an NFL rep would meet us. But nobody was there. We never did see an NFL rep."
The McKinnons and others ended up watching the game in the North Field Club, behind the Pittsburgh bench. The only windows gave them a good view of the Steelers' feet.
WATCHING CLOSELY: Indianapolis, which hosts the next Super Bowl on Feb. 5, 2012, is well-prepared for the type of back-to-back storms that snarled traffic and the best-laid plans in North Texas, Indy mayor Greg Ballard said. Ballard, who went to Dallas with a committee of Indianapolis' Super Bowl planners, said the area staged a good event despite troubles clearing snow and ice and fans' woes dealing with flight cancellations, traffic backups, slick sidewalks and some canceled pregame festivities. "A lot of things went right down there. They just had that extremely odd variable with the weather; it was just bad luck," Ballard said.
VICK QUIBBLE: Dallas' mayor disavowed a "key to the city" presentation for Eagles QB Michael Vick last week. In a statement issued Monday, Tom Leppert said the presentation was made without his knowledge and approval. Dallas mayor pro tem Dwaine Caraway presented Vick the key at a ceremony in Dallas last week. Vick was named AP comeback player of the year for his first season as a starter after serving 18 months in prison for dogfighting.