Granddaughter Of Former Packers President Denied Seats At Super Bowl

DALLAS (AP) – A granddaughter of the first president of the Green Bay Packers was among the 400 ticketholders forced out of the stands at the Super Bowl because their seats weren’t safe.

In a letter sent to the NFL, which she provided to The Associated Press, Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should never be allowed to host another Super Bowl. She called her experience at Cowboys Stadium a “total disaster.”

Beisel-McIlwaine wrote that it took several hours — and miles of walking — before stadium and league officials finally led her and other displaced fans from their upper deck seats to a field level bar area behind the Pittsburgh Steelers bench — with no view of the field.

The 55-year-old woman from Michigan told the AP she received a call Wednesday from the NFL, and will be going to the league office Friday in New York to meet with a person who is handling her situation.

“I hope we can get this remedied quickly,” she wrote.

Beisel-McIlwaine’s grandfather was Andrew Blair Turnbull, the Packers’ first president and a member of the team’s Hall of Fame. Her father was Daniel C. Beisel, a Packers’ board member from 1968 until his death in 2009.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday that 40 employees have been assigned to help identify and assist fans who were left without seats. He said 260 of the ticketholders have either been located or have called the league. Some have shown up at the league’s New York office.

In the days after the Packers’ 31-25 win over the Steelers, the league has given the displaced fans two options: $2,400 — triple the face value of the ticket — and a ticket to next year’s Super Bowl, or a ticket to any future Super Bowl, with round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations included.

On Thursday, the NFL said an additional 2,000 fans forced to sit in temporary seats will receive either a face-value ticket refund or a free ticket to a future Super Bowl.

The Seatless 400 episode has already spawned at least two lawsuits. Two Packers fans filed suit against the NFL, the Cowboys and the stadium alleging fraud, breach of contract and negligence; and a class-action suit filed against the league, the Cowboys and Jones alleges breach of contract, fraud and deceptive sales practices.

A Packers’ season ticketholder, Beisel-McIlwaine bought two tickets for the Super Bowl at face value, $800 apiece. When she arrived with her son at their seats — “in the nose bleed section, 425A seats 4 and 5” — about three hours before the game, stadium officials said they weren’t ready. Eventually, they were told the seats weren’t going to be available at all and, like many others in the same predicament, ended up without a view at field level, forced to watch the game on television.

During her ordeal, Beisel-McIlwaine wrote that she was sent from one ticket office to another and back again, then back to her seats, which by then were covered with a black tarp.

“We were getting nowhere,” she wrote in her letter to the NFL. “Everyone was passing it off to someone else and no one seemed to know what was going on. It was truly a run around.”

NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman said 2,400 seats in the upper deck of the west end zone were not usable early on, and it wasn’t until just before gametime before it was determined which seats were safe.

“As people came back up, Cowboys and NFL personnel were standing there,” Grubman said. “If seats weren’t affected, they said they were sorry about the process and led them to their seats. If seats were affected, they said they were sorry and offered to take them to SRO sections or escort them to a field level bar and restaurant. They could not see the field, but could watch on TV.”

Beisel-McIlwaine wrote that she “grabbed one of the few tables and two chairs and we were joined shortly by two other Packer fans. There were many folks in this bar now, many of which had to sit on the floor.”

Free food and drink was available, but even watching on TV was a problem: The picture was supplied by the NFL feed, and the audio was from the Fox telecast.

“They were not in sync with each other and it was very difficult to determine what down or how many yards there were to go unless we listened very closely,” Beisel-McIlwaine wrote.

There was a benefit: After the Packers beat the Steelers 31-25 and the Lombardi Trophy was presented, “they did lead us out onto the field so we could get a look and actually were able to thank many of the Packer players and coaches.”

Beisel-McIlwaine said she wore a pedometer on Super Bowl Sunday, and clocked 21,823 steps. Using the commonly accepted average of about 2,000 steps per mile, that translates to more than 10 miles, up and down steps and through crowded concourses.

“I’m 55 and fortunately in good shape and health, but I saw many in wheel chairs and one person on crutches,” she said.

Beisel-McIlwaine spoke with KRLD’s Matt Thomas about her experience:


One Comment

  1. Jerry says:

    I agree. Go girl

  2. CanadianTexan says:

    Call the waaaaaambulance

  3. t'mara says:

    It wasn’t just the unlucky thousand+ who were inconvenienced, EVERY fan who was there has a tale of unnecessarily long delays and misdirection from untrained stadium staff that often resulted in excruciatingly long walks. the staff seemed to be totally untrained and clueless about even the most basic questions about where to enter or exit the stadium. At security we witnessed one incident after another of arbitrary and downright stupid decisions, (taking granola bars out of a diabetic elderly woman’s purse, making another man throw away a tiny digital camera case while others walked in with tote bags and huge purses. they did not seem trained to do pat downs on people with pacemakers and did not seem to have ever heard of a implant difibulator.) Not one staff person out of a dozen was able to answer our questions, and one flat out told us he didn’t know and didn’t care. We were directed to our entry… after 2 1/2 hours in line another staff person would not let us enter there. We were told to walk around the stadium through the lots, but the parking lot was blocked. A shuttle might have been able to take us to red gate, but no body knew where to get it or when or if it was coming back.
    The man sitting next to us in our temporary seating went down for a beer and was not allowed back inside! he had to walk around 3/4 of the stadium before he could get readmitted (yes, he had his ticket, everyone wears them.) Our temporary seating section was a rockin” and we were all afraid it would collapse during the game.
    Peggy was lucky to have a tv with sound, some packers fans i met were in a small airless room with a tv with NO sound and nowhere to spend the $10 food voucher they had been given (which would not have even bought one bottle of beer by the way. They had nothing to seat or drink all day.)
    I could go on, but suffice it to say that all fans were inconvenienced by an ill prepared and poorly trained staff and Peggy is absolutely right in saying Jerry Jones should NEVER be allowed to run a superbowl again. I don’t think he has the wherewithall to run a backyard garage sale.

  4. t'mara says:

    p.s. just so you know, we’ve been 6 previous superbowls, so we know what the average experience should be like…

  5. Irritated Mama says:

    I agree that this whole ordeal was an embarrassment to the entire region. We looked like a bunch of morons! The endless news coverage of the winter storm also made us look very stupid. How about scrolling the closures and traffic issues across the bottom…we don’t need news anchors repeating the same stuff every 2 minutes for 5-6 hours!!!

    I am surprised that this lady wasn’t given access to a suite…how about the Packer’s owner’s suite…they would’ve known who she was! Thanks, Jerry, for once again putting the “ass” in “class!”

  6. jdt says:

    And why should Jerry be involved. For all the silly people who think Jerry ran the super bowl pull your head out. The NFL contracted out the stadium and ran the game same as they do every year at every stadium.Figure out who to blame for once and put it there.Yes Jerry owns the stadium,but he doesnt run every event that buys time in it.

  7. Connie says:

    It makes me sad that so many people were without seats. The city of Arlington is a nice town and I am proud to live here. The city and people of Arlington are not to blame for what happened. If I were to place blame on someone it would be the NFL and the company that walked off the job of finishing the seats for the Superbowl. This whole Metroplex went above and beyond to put it together. I’m sorry there were problems but there was a lot of good also.

  8. WWJD says:

    This whole situation just shows how much we have let GREED take control of our lives as Americans. We are arguing, sueing and whining over the fact that someone did not get an $800 seat at the Super Bowl!!! Cry me a river…..

    There are literally millions who will go to sleep tonight hungry, sick and without so much as a blanket and pillow, much less a bed. If we should be ashamed, its not because the Superbowl got messed up by unfinished seats but because we are that shallow.

    As far as this premedonna who thinks she’s entitled – may you have many sleepless nights thinking about those who don’t even get to eat tonight!!

    1. MeanMug says:

      What would Jerry do?

  9. spanky69 says:

    It would be nice to see at least one news organization actually tell the truth about what really caused the problem, and who was really to blame.

  10. Albert Haynesworthless says:

    I would tell this “Granddaughter of the Former Packers President” that she is no better and no worse then anyone else who didn’t get a seat. I don’t care who your Grandfather was … What have you done that is so great. Lots of successful people have crackhead kids or meth-head grandchildren so big deal who you’re related to.

    Just shut up and get on with your life.

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