Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Is Cowboys Standing Room A Smart Move?

Dallas Cowboys

Standing room used to be a consolation prize given to the fan who thought he could get a walk-up seat and struck out.


Standing room only is apparently all the rage.

At least in Dallas, where the Cowboys $1.1 billion new stadium has the capacity to hold 35,000 fans that don't get a place to sit.

Yesterday, the Cowboys put these "seats," called Party Passes, on sale and in the first six hours sold 13,000 for the Sept. 20 opener against the New York Giants.

It's not that people don't want to sit. It's not that they want to see much of the game either, the six party decks are in the endzone -- though it helps to have the world's biggest video screen (over 20,000 square feet) and two 48-foot wide boards that will face Party Pass fans. People who buy these seats just want to get in the stadium to feel the energy, say they were there, and feel like they are getting a value. The Cowboys themselves tell you that it's "one of the best price points in the NFL."

Dallas Cowboys Party Pass

While many might be applauding the move as a brilliant one from the mind of Jerry Jones, there's definitely two sides to this play.

The more traditional argument is that this is good. It's cramming more people into the stadium, who then spend money on concessions.

But there are others who think this might not be the most prudent business move. Think about the people who paid $890 for a season ticket in the upper endzone because they thought that was their only way into the stadium. That's $89 a game, including the two exhibitions, and that doesn't include a one-time $4,000 PSL charge. How do they feel about the fact that people might have nearly the same view, without a seat of course, get to pick what games they want to go to and pay $60 less per game?

There's obviously going to be some sensitivity. It's likely one of the reasons why these tickets didn't go on sale earlier. It's also likely one of the reasons why the advertisement for the Party Pass (above) shows such a horrible view. The Cowboys probably think that $29 sells it enough and don't want to show too much in a picture.

Questions?  Comments?