Arlington Fire Chief Talks Cowboys Stadium Issues

ARLINGTON (KRLD) – The Arlington Fire Chief is speaking out about the seat fiasco and ice and snow removal at Cowboys Stadium.

Chief Don Crowson says it was for their own safety that hundreds of fans were turned away from Super Bowl XLV — even though they had tickets. “The stairwells were not completed. The temporary stairs were not completed,” explained Crowson. “In the event of an emergency, if fans needed to exit down those stairs they were simply not safe; therefore those seats could not be used.”

Crowson says they had been monitoring the construction of the temporary seats for weeks and had hoped they would be completed, safely, by game time.

KRLD’s Chuck Schechner speaks with Arlington Fire Dept. Chief Don Crowson

“When it became apparent that the stands were not going to be completed in that area, that the stairs on the north and south sides of the upper concourse temporary seating area was not completed, I had a direct conversation with the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys organization and there was no ‘push back’ at all,” Crowson said. “Our responsibility is to make sure that people are safe and that’s paramount.”

According to Crowson, the decision was made not to use the seats at 2:00 Sunday afternoon. “Those seats that you saw that were unoccupied were served by the stairs that were not completed, therefore we were not going to allow them to be used. I assigned firefighters and police officers, and NFL safety security personnel were there to make sure people did not cross over.”

The Arlington Fire Department had to deal with the seating situation after addressing safety concerns about falling snow, after several people were injured at the stadium. Snow and ice began falling from the roof around 1:15 Friday afternoon, as workers were preparing the stadium for the Super Bowl.

The clearing of the ice and snow from the roof meant additional manpower and expense, but Crowson says the tab didn’t go to the city. “Those additional resources were funded by the Dallas Cowboys,” he explained. “There was no additional cost to the City of Arlington and that’s how it worked.”

As far as any ice and snow danger, Crowson said the roof situation was monitored, potential dangers identified and, “Based on the information from the top [of the roof] we developed a perimeter plan on the four corners and the Super Bowl proceeded forward in a very safe environment.”

Crowson said ultimately his job is to keep visitors and the citizens of Arlington are safe, and that that was also the biggest concern for the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys organization. “When the safety issue came up there was no negative conversations, it was all positive in the interest of the fans’ safety.”


One Comment

  1. Jeff says:

    I was a the first regular season home game vs the giants at cowboys stadium their was over 105.000 ppl how is it possible that the superbowl only had 103,000 they fire marshal wasnt letting ppl in to that game either the fans pushed their way in! Something isny right

  2. Arlington Proud says:

    I am an Arlington resident and am proud or our Fire Chief. He made the decision to keep everyone safe. Jerry was in violation (fire code) during the first regular season game with his ‘party pass’ and our Fire Chief was not going to let Jerry do this again!

  3. Tony Michaels says:

    The city of Arlington, The Fire Chief and J Jones, should all be held responsible for the problem with the seats. All interested parties knew a week ago , that the additional seating area was not finished. Ah, but greed and the possibility of more money, let wait until the last possible minute and cloese these sections to people that had travelled far and whos expectations were high. Yeah, lets sell seats for big money, that don’t really exist. Sound like a scam to me.
    Gosh, the city did so many things right but hey lets push a bit more for a bit more money. The Chief should resign, J Jones you can’t really hurt cause he has so much money and the City of Arlington, they can say it was Dallas’s fault.

    1. shadeofafreeway says:

      Well said.

    2. tim says:

      You need to read the story.

      The City of Arlington, Jerry Jones, and the Dallas Cowboys were not responsible for what the NFL wanted to do with the stadium. When the contractor walked off the job. what were they supposed to do?

    3. Vivvy says:

      And just why should the chief resign? Imagine the position he and the entire city would have been in if they had turned a blind eye and a fire broke out. The chief was doing the wise thing to deny use of those seats. It’s the NFL and JJ who should be held accountable.

  4. shadeofafreeway says:

    Ok. Good. Safety first. It’s great that we had the fans in mind. Or maybe DON’T SELL WHAT WE HAVEN’T GOT!? Hmmmm?! I think the point is that no one considered the fans’ safety or any contingency thereof PRIOR to selling those tickets! Not excused.

  5. tim says:

    Again – read the story before you post, people.

    Personally, as an Arlington resident, I’m proud of the way the city’s FD handled the situation.

    1. shadeofafreeway says:

      Still sold what didn’t exist.

  6. s carter says:

    Thank you Chief Crowson for clarifing the issues of ice on the roof and temporary seating. I am glad the city will be reimbursed. I just hope the Cowboys organization pays the bill. As far as the temporary seat debaucle is concerned we can all understand that you are responsible for public safety and that Mr Jones is very capable of breaking rules in the oft chance he might be able to get away with it as long if he can make a few hundred thousand more. Never mind the fan that came from out of town who purchased the temporary seats in good faith. If the steps were not complete why would they sell tickets? I think fans have had enough of Jerry Jones and his GREED!

  7. Tim, Dallas says:

    Maybe all sports teams can start using the airlines’ tactic of overbooking. They can sell 10, 20, or 30% more seats than they have and when people don’t show, still fill the empty seats. And when a problem arises, they can let somebody go standby for the next game or give them credits to use on merchandise.

  8. Misty says:

    Its about time some body is bold and speaks up for the safety and well being. Jerry Jones can not play with the safety because there is more money to be made.
    Proud of you Fire chief, and Glad that you didn’t bow down and suck up to Jones like the Mayor who gave $400 million dollars of the citizen’s money for all the trash and clean up after super Bowl.
    When you look back what did Arlington gain from this event…. trash pile.The cities that made the most are FortWorth Dallas and las Clinas.

  9. Fred says:

    Troy Aikman wants to be Reliant Energy’s spokesman:

  10. TK, Arlington says:

    I agree with the fire chief, but there is NO WAY to make that up to those people…I’m not even going to list all the different expenses. Selfish, thoughtless, just dumb!

    JJ should throw them an all expense paid party or send them on a cruise or SOMETHING!!!!!! all expense next years game is okay as an option IF they even want to go.

  11. Cindy says:

    What a lot of you don’t understand, is the NFL decided not to open those seats! Sure the Fire Marshall wouldn’t have let them, but it wasn’t even a question. They are going to have law suits now and do you not think the NFL is smart enough to know Safety. The lawsuits would have even been bigger. Maybe you want to say greed on the NFL, but if they had gotten a contractor that could could have completed the job, you wouldn’t have even heard about this. Don’t bring New York talent?!$ to do a Texas sized job. They should have used Texas contractors. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and apparently the contractor from New York hasn’t heard that saying.

  12. aorlxa says:

    Again – read the story before you post, people
    the NFLl added the seats not JJ

  13. Johana says:

    I found this web with satellite view of CowboysStadium: have videos of best matches

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