The NFL has offered a new option to the 400 fans who were denied seats at Super Bowl XLV and now intends to offer them $5,000 or more as compensation.
Commissioner Roger Goodell reached out in an e-mail to the 400 fans, many of whom complained that they were cast aside into inhospitable areas after local safety officials refused to certify the temporary stands where they expected to view the Packers’ Super Bowl win.
CAPTIONBy Chris O’Meara, AP
Goodell told the fans the league will now offer them an option of a $5,000 payment or the total of their verified expenses for Super Bowl XLV, whichever is greater. The 400 fans already were offered compensation packages of $2,400 plus a free ticket to Super Bowl XLVI or a ticket to a future Super Bowl with round-trip airfare and four nights hotel accommodations included.
“As you may know, we have been reaching out directly to those fans who regrettably and inexcusably were unable to watch Super Bowl XLV from a seat in Cowboys Stadium,” Goodell said in his e-mail. “In listening to your feedback, we have decided to offer a third option.”
Affected fans can contact the NFL via a website set up at http://www.nfl.com/sbtickets.
The seating problems were a major embarrassment for the NFL that Goodell and his deputies have apologized for profusely. There were about 850 other fans who also couldn’t be seated in temporary stands that the NFL ended up moving to other seats in the building.
The league also offered a 2,000 other fans a ticket refund or a future ticket to a Super Bowl after admitting they were “significantly delayed” getting to their seats at the game.
Some fans complained of waiting for hours to pass through security lines into Cowboys Stadium, and NFL VP of business operations Eric Grubman said the league had to close some entrances because of the threat of falling ice from the roof. Two days before the game, six people were injured when ice fell off the building.
The seating problems spawned a lawsuit against the NFL from fans angry with their experience. Grubman said last week that fans who accept the NFL’s compensation plan would have to waive their right to be party to a lawsuit.
Tom and Nancy Noone, of Grove City, Pa., were one of the 400 displaced fans who attended the game to cheer on their favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. They estimated they spent about $8,000-$10,000 on the trip.