Super Bowl Ticket Snafu: NFL Steps It Up For Fans
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
The NFL issued another option on Tuesday night for the 400 fans who had purchased seats to the Super Bowl in sections 425A and 430A, only to be turned away because the fire marshal had deemed the temporary setup unsafe.
In a statement provided to CNBC, the league said that they were offering one free, transferable, ticket to next year's Super Bowl and a cash payment of $2,400, three times the face value of the ticket they held ($800). Or, the new option, of one free ticket to a future Super Bowl game of the fan's choice, plus round-trip airfare and hotel accomodations provided by the NFL. This offer would be personalized and therefore not transferable.
The league also sought to reach out for the first time to try to find out what exactly happened.
"The NFL office, in conjunction with the Steelers, Packers, and Cowboys, is in the process of obtaining contact information for the approximately 400 individuals that did not receive seats in the stadium bowl at Super Bowl XLV," the league said, in a statement.
"Contact information for any of those individuals can be emailed to SBXLV@nfl.com. A personal call from a senior NFL staff member will follow to answer questions and provide information on how the fan’s choice will be confirmed and fulfilled."
In a statement produced during the game, the NFL told the media that most of those who didn't have seats were given access to the TV broadcast, that they were given the option to view the game from standing platforms in each corner of the stadium and were given free food and drink. The statement also said that some of the fans were permitted to go on the field after the game.
But first person accounts from those people, as told to the media, including this one told to CNBC.com on Tuesday didn't paint such a rosy picture of their experience at the game. Two people CNBC spoke with said that free food and beverages were not part of the plan and that they were never told about the option of standing anywhere else. Both were surprised that an NFL official never once spoke with them about the situation.
After the game, a league official acknowleged that the league knew that days before the game the temporary seating was behind schedule. That was apparently set back when, hours before kickoff, workers with the contractor, Seating Solutions, walked off the job, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Web sites have been set up for a possible class action lawsuit to be pursued against the league, though no action has been taken.
Said NFL commissioner in Tuesday night's statement: “We are ultimately responsible for the fan experience and we want it to be the best it can possibly be."
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