Super Bowl: NFL Does Noble Job Recovering From Ticket Snafu
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
As word circulated that some temporary seating wasn't going to be ready for the Super Bowl, fans slammed the NFL and Jerry Jones on Twitter. How was it possible that 1,250 seats weren't ready?How was it possible that the outside contractor was finishing up 2,000 other seats in the upper endzone minutes before game time?
It was a crisis for a lot of people who spent their hard earned money to see their team. And the story was only touched upon once, briefly, during FOX's pregame show.
The people who had tickets in the upper end zone eventually did get to their seats by game time. And, as we first reported, the NFL was able to move 850 people to similar or better seats thanks to NFL employees giving up their seats.
But 400 people were not able to be accommodated.
The league first said that they'd be watching the game in the Party Plaza from outside the stadium. But the league was able to put them in a lower level suite watching the television behind the Steelers bench.
In order to compensate the 400 fans, the league gave fans three times the price of the face value ($800) of their ticket — $2,400. It's not a perfect solution because most fans likely paid in between 4 to 6 times face for that seat on the secondary market. But there's something to be said for the fact that the league is just responsible for making sure that a ticket corresponds to a seat.
The 400 fans were also given free food and allowed on the field for the postgame celebration and the league announced this morning that they will give those fans, free tickets to Super Bowl XLVI next year. As for those 2,000 fans who had to wait until gametime to get into their seats - they'll be getting $800 back.
The great seat snafu was clearly unacceptable. It shouldn't have happened. The league knew earlier in the week that it was possible that the seats wouldn't be ready and it wasn't helped when some of the workers installing the seats walked out on Sunday. What the league offered wasn't a perfect solution.
Some people don't want to be at next year's Super Bowl if their team isn't there. Some fans still didn't get the experienced that they were promised. But the league did the best that they could for a situation that needed immediate crisis management.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CNBC he does not know any fans that did not take the deal the league offered. The thinking on that is that there might be some that held out in order to have grounds for a class action lawsuit against the league. A fan named Matthew Rush from Pittsburgh, whose ticket was compromised, told the Daily Oklahomanthat he was encouraging others to join a lawsuit against the league. He has started a Web site to take namesat http://www.superbowlsuit.com.
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