Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished Before Kickoff

By Matt Goodman, CBSDFW.COM
seatswide Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished Before Kickoff

A black sheet was placed over some temporary seats at the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011. (credit: Kent Chapline/KTVT/KTXA)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – When Pittsburgh resident Pat Kelly plopped down in a seat next to his wife, Jill, at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday just before kickoff, it marked the end of a nearly six hour spat of confusion spurred by multiple sections of temporary seating that were not finished before the Super Bowl.

“Thank God I’m here,” he said, slumping into an empty seat in the auxiliary media section.

Thousands of Super Bowl ticket holders were just like the Kellys: They were told at the door that “unforeseen circumstances” may prevent them from attending the big game.

According to a statement released by the NFL, workers were still installing temporary seats in the stadium’s west end – three hours before kickoff. Some of those sold seats, the NFL later said, would not be available at all.

“There are a limited number of sections in temporary seating areas inside the stadium that have not been fully completed,” read a release given to media at Cowboys Stadium. “Fans who are not accommodated with seats inside the stadium will each receive the cost of the face value of their ticket.”

The ticket holders won the chance to buy these $600 tickets through a lottery. Their sections at Cowboys Stadium were to be comprised of temporary seats. But when those fans arrived on Sunday afternoon, they were directed to the venue’s standing-room-only Party Plaza.

The NFL said 850 ticketholders in 205a, 215a, 230a, 240a were affected and relocated. Four hundred fans in 425a and 430a could not be relocated and were given three times the $900 face value as a refund. Plus, on Monday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the 400 displaced fans would also receive free tickets to next year’s Super Bowl.

After being directed to the waiting area, a security worker told Dallas resident Jake Batsell, who was at the game with his father, that the fire marshal had not signed off on the temporary seating sections. According to Batsell, a former Dallas Morning News reporter, some ticket holders yelled “Thanks a lot, Jerry Jones!” as television crews filmed the confusion.

“It’s a sealed off area. There are tables, heaters, vans. There’s concessions around here. It looks like it’s going to be a private entertainment area,” Batsell said. “Maybe they let us in early or something, I don’t know.”

Officials with the NFL soon passed out a notice saying that many assigned seats would be “unavailable for today’s game.”

letter Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished Before Kickoff

This letter was handed out to some Super Bowl attendees just hours before the game was set to begin. (credit: CBS)

The NFL’s statement, which was issued about an hour after the incident, went on to say that most of those fans would be moved to seats in similar or better areas. Some were later placed in the auxiliary media section in the stadium.

Ticket holders who were unhappy with the new accomodations, or simply did not want to move, were able to refund their tickets for three times the face value. Fans seeking refunds were transported to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, just down the street from Cowboys Stadium.

Before these statements were released, there was widespread confusion at Cowboys Stadium about the state of these ticket holders. Batsell said that, on one side of the Party Plaza, he was told that he would not be attending the Super Bowl.

dsc 47851 Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished Before Kickoff

A black sheet was placed over some temporary seats at the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011. (credit: Kent Chapline/KTVT/KTXA)

“So all this is happening on one side of the area, and on the other side an NFL guy is telling everybody it’s going to be 30 minutes and we’ll still get into the game,” Batsell said. “So no one really knows what the final verdict is at this point…we’ll stay first, one way or another”

After the confusion settled, Batsell and his father were seated in the same section where he bought the tickets: 427a, at the “tippy top” of the stadium, as he later tweeted.

“Believe it or not, people are still buying souvenirs,” he added.

Despite all of the troubles — not just with seats, but with the cold weather as well — Goodell said that the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee did a terrific job. He said that there is no reason that North Texas could not land another Super Bowl in the future.

  • sailordude

    What about those who were stupid enough to buy an outdoor spot for $200?

    I mean, c’mon! A party of four could be living large watching the game at a sports bar or for that matter a strip bar.

    American’s got way too much money it would seem. Not enough brains.

    • Dave

      Who is ‘American’? And how do you know how much money he has?

      • GordonsBabyArm

        Dave, seriously, I can’t take this no more. Let Sailordue be Sailordude, ya chump.

      • rickyg94

        Dave, are you really this stupid? American, in the context that the guy was using the term, refers to US citizens. That is obvious. And the guy never claimed to know how much money these people have. He only said they have too much. The fact that they can waste so much money on watching this game proves his point.

      • Bill Webb

        Love Stripes…good quote Uncle hulka.

    • Dave-o


      We’re Americans, not ‘American’s’. And use proper grammar, please. It’s ‘Americans have’, not ‘American’s got.’

      Way to prove your own point.

      • bannie

        If it weren’t for the grammar police, we’d all be writing in sloppy “text-ese.” God bless the grammar police!

      • rickyg94


        If all you can do is complain about grammar and spelling then why respond at all? I have a feeling you understood his point just fine, and his point offended you. But instead of refuting his point, you picked on irrelevant stuff like grammar. Get a life… If you understood his point his writing skills are sufficient.

        Do you really think you can eliminate improper grammar and spelling by responding and pointing out mistakes? Really you just seem like an @nus.

      • Jahnke

        I am with you, man. I hate these illiterate morons … stupid public schools.

      • Sargent Hulka

        Lighten up Francis!

      • les

        i see the grammer police are at it again.

      • alllen

        aent ya got know odder thang to dew den kerrect usens grandma?

      • Rob0206

        grammEr?? Really? Someone please call the spelling police! Hurry!! If they are too busy, maybe the GED tutor can help Les?

    • Bill in Buffalo

      Most Americans can’t afford to go to the Super Bowl. My family had a Super Bowl party for a fraction of the cost of one ticket.

    • capitalist

      What the market can get surely confuses some. We should all be living in misery.

    • BIGTEX

      if us “American’s” have so much money dont you think you should be moving here and learning some proper language skills so you can get a job and make some money also…thats why we have so MUCH money as you say

      • Dan Brown

        It’s “we americans,” of course, to use “proper language skills.”

    • Dmitrie

      Da, Comrade. Too much money. Glorious State must decide how we spend money we earn, not us. Prolitariat too stupid to make own decisions. With such good grasp of needs and wants you must surely be serving the People very well on the Politburo. Continue, Great Comrade: Tell us how is best for us to spend our money. Thanks goodness that in home country the only decision is do we watch superbowl with regular borscht or extra spicy! Stupid, greedy Americans! Now is tine for bathroob break… here comes rolling blackout!

    • chipgiii


      Surely your mental ship is singing.

      • chipgiii

        lol…and so is mine! I meant sinking!

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/temporary-super-bowl-seats-unfinished-3-hours-before-kickoff/ Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished 3 Hours Before Kickoff « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished 3 Hours Before Kickoff Hundreds of Super Bowl ticket holders were told that “unforeseen circumstances” may prevent them from attending the game. Go to News Source […]

  • Egbert

    There’s a football game today? Who’s playing?

    • Boris Yeltisn FBS

      Dunno.. Im not much into soccor.

      • BIGTEX

        what is this game you call soccor??

  • http://topsy.com/dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/02/06/temporary-super-bowl-seats-unfinished-3-hours-before-kickoff/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished 3 Hours Before Kickoff « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Drudge Report, cbs11news D/FW, JennieLT, Billy Corben, Christine Sever and others. Christine Sever said: RT @CNNITSMO: KTVT: Temporary seats not ready at #Superbowl. Fans to get 3X refund for tix. http://bit.ly/ftlkY5 […]

  • Bill Simons

    For the kind of money needed to attend the superbowl, one could buy a 46 inch flat screen and see the game at home and have closer views of plays and re plays than you could ever have at the game. Your wife could make some chicken wings etc .The money and time to get to the game would be nicely given to using the above method . Are you nuts to spend the large amount of money to get to the superbowl plus the travel time ,high gas price ? Or do you have more money to spend than brains . When the game is over you would wind up with a really nice TV .and still put a bunch of money in the bank

    • BIGTEX

      i’m gonna go out on a limb and say you are a materialistic person…its not about the money you spend and what you have in the end…its about living and having fun and doing once in a lifetime things!!!

  • GordonsBabyArm

    Hey Dave-o, we don’t need no stinkin’ grammar police lurking ’round here BOY!

    • Dave Lambers

      He’s not lurking, BOY!

  • VideoWatcher

    Let’s see… For a family of 4, sitting outside, the cost would be…

    Tickets: 200.00 X 4 = 800.00
    Air Fare, Rd. Trip: 500.00 X 4 = 2,000.00
    (Economy Coach,
    Hotel – 2 rooms: 800.00 X 2 = 1,600.00
    (Econo rms @
    Superbowl rates)
    Food & Misc. 200.00 X 4 = 800.00
    Expenses _________

    Total: $5,200.00
    That would buy a REALLY BIG screen TV and one hell of a Superbowl party
    at home!

    • jb80538

      Bump that by a bit because they were $600 seats not $200!

  • A Dog's Life

    You think they have problems… I just arrived at my family room, and found my lab sleeping in my seat! And, there’s no usher available to communicate a formal complaint!

    Guess I’ll just throw some popcorn on the floor; that should get his attention, and give me my seat back!

  • scott

    Get a life. So much moe in life then cramming into a stadium to watch a game that is available for free

    • GordonsBabyArm

      Slow clap, scotty, slow clap

  • Dr. Bomaby

    “Half this game is ninety percent mental.”
    – Yogi Berra


    • Russ

      Half the fans are 90% mental too.

      • Robert Frost

        90% are half mental…

  • Bruce

    Some fans are very confused. Jerry Jones is not running Super Bowl 45.
    The NFL is in complete control of this operation. The NFL has dropped the ball here, not the City of Arlington or Jerry Jones

    • Jahnke

      You, sir, are dead wrong.

      • Anthony

        Jahnke wanta bet? who is in charge?

      • Tommy Chapman

        You are dead wrong, i work at the stadium and Jerry had NO control of the seating…

  • GordonsBabyArm

    Uh, Bruski, I beg to differ. Jerry Jones promised the NFL that the logistics would be in place and, as such, is carrying the torch for the league, so to speak, and that’s how it should be, now and yesterday and the year before like’s it has always been done. Good morning to ya.

  • Brendan

    Perhaps its about more than just money, Bill.

  • http://www.bilco.org/2011/02/06/big-problems-at-cowboys-stadium-gates-closed-fans-mad-as-hell/ Big problems at Cowboys Stadium: Gates closed; fans ‘mad as hell… : Bilco's Domain

    […] headline, 1st story, link) Related stories: Hundreds Of Seats Not Ready For Game…‘Refund planned’…NFL: SUPER BOWL XLV…FOXSPORTS: DETAILS…B.O. VS. […]

  • Mona

    c’mon people you all know you would like to experience going to the BIG game. Why did they wait till the last day, excuse me, the last few hours, to try and finish something they started two weeks ago? I think Jerry should invite some of the people up to his suite. Actually I’m sure they could invite at least 5 per suite and accomodate all those who lost their seats to total disorganization.

    • GordonsBabyArm

      Mona, uhhhh, you don’t want the, uhhhh, riff raff commoners running around those high priced stadyum suites. The clean-up costs would be, uhhh, prohibitive and would require a substantial cash outlay.

  • Moneypenny

    It’s nice to know that mediocre is being accepted everywhere and the answer is to throw money at it after the fact instead of doing it right the first time.

    Would someone PLEASE do a debrief cost analysis? P L E A S E

    • GordonsBabyArm

      Moneypenny, uhhh, your moniker clearly, clearly shows that you don’t have the, uhhh, economical insight and uhh, prowess, as it were, to grasp what is at stake in our community where we maintain our domiciles throughout the lifetimes of our grandchildren. Good mornin’ to ya.

  • just lurking

    Hey Guys, It’s their money and they can CHOOSE to spend it how they want to spend it. If they want to go to the game and spend that much money, IT’S THEIR MONEY! You can choose to spend your money how you choose so lighten up!

    • J.G. Wentworth

      It’s YOUR cash, use it when YOU need it!

    • rickyg94

      just lurking,

      You might have a point if we didn’t have numerous government programs that take from some and give to others. I guarantee there are lots of people buying these tickets who are the same people who don’t have health insurance and claim they can’t afford health care. In reality, they just choose to make irresponsible decisions by buying other things. You know, the same way people drive fancy cars but don’t save for retirement or job loss, etc. So as long as I am taxed to pay for necessities for irresponsible people, some of which I am sure are paying hundreds of dollars to see a moronic game, I will continue to state my opinion on how people should spend their money.

      BTW, if you don’t like reading peoples’ opinions, don’t read the comments. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

      Thank you,

  • Jp

    You can de ice a plane why not the stadium

    • GordonsBabyArm

      That’s easy, uhhhh, Jp. There are no wangs on the stadyum, so undoing the icing scenario is not plausible at this juncture in our lives. Good mornin’ to ya sir.

  • Mona

    lmfao, you might have a point, on the other hand, maybe they are only rif without the raff and can handle themselves??? Personally I like the commercials so I like watching it on T.V. but one day I would like to go.

  • Me

    As a resident of Texas. I thank all of you that are putting money into our economy.

  • MrHand

    Pretty sad. Why spend all that for something forgotten by next near?

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/temporary-super-bowl-seats-unfinished-before-kickoff/ Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished Before Kickoff « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Temporary Super Bowl Seats Unfinished Before Kickoff Thousands of Super Bowl ticket holders were told that “unforeseen circumstances” would possibly prevent them from seeing the game. Go to News Source […]

  • http://mxsuperbowl.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/23/ | mxsuperbowl

    […] to reports, a fire marshall hadn’t approved the temporary seating. Affected fans arrived at the game and were handed a letter informing them […]

  • DarkStarAz

    They are giving three times the face value, 3 x 600=1800
    “…what dya mean $1800? …my wife and I bought 2 of these from a scalper for 2500/ea, flew to dallas, rented a car and a hotel…”

  • http://www.bilco.org/2011/02/06/hundreds-of-seats-not-ready-for-game/ Hundreds Of Seats Not Ready For Game… : Bilco's Domain

    […] headline, 2nd story, link) Related stories: Big problems at Cowboys Stadium: Gates closed; fans ‘mad as […]

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