Seatless fan disputes NFL’s account of treatment during game

The NFL put a good spin on the situation after they left 400 Super Bowl ticket holders without seats to the game.

The league said the fans were given free food, allowed on the field for the postgame celebration, and were able to watch the game on monitors near the field.   One fan who went through the experience disputes that rosy picture.

Darren Rovell of the CNBC gets a lengthy account from Dan Powell, who describes all the hoops the ticket holder had to jump through before the game even started.   Confusion was rampant throughout the day, and communication from the NFL was minimal.

“There was no food at all, you couldn’t even order down there,” Powell said.   “The bartender, at his own discretion, gave a few of us some free drinks because he felt bad for us. But at halftime, the bartender said, ‘The tab is closed, you have to buy drinks now.”’

Powell also said the fans weren’t let on to the field until nearly all the players were off.

“The reality is we were herded down there with no answers, told to wait and then heard nothing for the entire game,” Powell said.

This account continues a disturbing trend of misleading information coming from the league about the seats snafu.  The NFL said 850 other displaced fans were given equal or better seats, but Sean Gregory of Time Magazine spoke to one that said her seats were far worse and she barely saw any of the first half.  (Oh, and her extremely high seats brought on her fear of heights.)

Another displaced fan said he got a seat two rows from the top of the stadium and missed the entire first quarter.  Others were directed like cattle for hours before the game.

It’s unclear what, if anything, the NFL will do for the fans who still got seats, but had their Super Bowl experiences dampened by the league’s incompetence.

46 responses to “Seatless fan disputes NFL’s account of treatment during game

  1. ” but had their Super Bowl experiences dampened by the league’s GREED.”

    Fixed your quote. This is all about massive, disgusting greed and nothing else. They thought they could jam those extra seats in and generate a million dollars+ in extra revenue. When they discovered it would cost more to finish them on time by adding extra labor to do so than they would make from selling the seats, they screwed the ticket holders plain and simple.

    GREED GREED GREED you disgusting scumbags, and by that I mean Goodell, Jerry Jones, and everyone else involved in the league including coaches, owners and players.

  2. “(Oh, and her extremely high seats brought on her fear of heights.)”

    Am I mis remebering? I thought the unsafe seats were at the very top? Somehow those would not have brought on a fear of heights?
    Also I took equal or better to mean the section price wise, not exactly by sight lines. Because the unsafe one were at the top over an end zone right? So if you get seats on the sidelines, even as high up, aren’t those generally considered “better”?

  3. It’s good that info that challenges the NFL’s spin is getting out there. How do you, Mr. Goodell have the guts to try to put a pleasant face on such a lapse of good judgment and incompetence. Rather, come out apologetically and do much more than you think you “have” to do to make this right. Then the rest of us will see that our faith has been restored and the big, bad corporation has a heart after all. Make a good faith effort to make amends, rather than put your PR machine in motion to keep any bad press, or comments by affected individuals from getting out there without an official league response.

  4. Sounds like the NFL is getting caught in another lie. I’m sure more accounts from seatless fans will be coming out soon. I don’t blame them for seeking legal action.

  5. I read that the NFL is giving each displaced fan a free 1-year subscription to ProFootballTalk and a copy of ‘Quarterback of the Future’ autographed by Jerrod Johnson.

  6. Another large finger pointed to the NFL offices this year. To much power for one man to handle. I almost forgot he cares about the fans. Sounds like all fans didn’t see the Super Bowl as he did.

  7. Hoosier Hospitality will be on full display next time around and Dallas and North Texas will be nothing more than a really bad memory.

    It doesn’t appear the NFL or Jerry Jones got it right with these fans and that is going to put more pressure on Indy for the event, and for those that have never been to a Final Four or an Indy 500, pressure is how those people putting on the next bowl like it.

    So sad for ya”ll in North Texas, but next year will put Indy in the regular rotation for the event. Watch and we will show you how it’s done!

  8. The amount of stupidity over this entire story is amazing.

    The NFL – the beast of American sports, money coming out of every hole. You’re faced with adversity – a chance to make right in a terrible situation for many people. Even if the NFL could care less about those people – here was a chance to make yourself look amazing, caring, and down to earth. The NFL couldve showered those fans with special treatment, money, gifts, etc; and been HEROs across America. Instead, they take the cheap route, and then lie about it over and over.

    Whoever handled this is a f*****ng MORON!

  9. Fortunately, the game was entertaining, the only thing the NFL could NOT control. The whole stadium situation in/out and during was a fiasco and the NFL botched it badly.

    But, glad he is now going to jeopardize all of next season to get to charge full price for 2 extra games that no fan or player wants. These guys have too much time on their hands.

    Leave a good product alone, play the games, use the billions to hire an extra few dozen employees to get people in and out, and sell tickets for seats that exist. Is this that hard?

  10. I’m sure Roger had a very nice seat and I doubt he and Jerry got off their greedy butts to even help.

  11. I have never sat in “class action lawsuit” seats, but i’d imagine this is what it would be like….

  12. Surprise, surprise. Turns out the NFL is just another GREEDY corporation like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, etc.. And as usual, it’s the little guy that gets screwed. How pathetic!

  13. One out of state fan was particularly upset when the security people guiding their group kept referring to them as “Four hundred sum head ‘o fans”.

  14. A fan who came all the way from Washington State for the game offered, “If I knew I was going to be seatless I’d have stayed in Seattle.”.

  15. Their PR department should be fired if this is true (I believe it to be). In this day and age, cover-ups aren’t going to work. There’s too much access for stories to grow into huge ordeals overnight.

    Prolonged medicine doesn’t make it less painful, it makes it worse.

  16. pftard says: Feb 8, 2011 4:48 PM

    I read that the NFL is giving each displaced fan a free 1-year subscription to ProFootballTalk and a copy of ‘Quarterback of the Future’ autographed by Jerrod Johnson.
    You forgot about the -10% off coupon for the PFT Store.

  17. I actually am getting put off by Roger Goodel and the massive greed that they call the NFL.. Gross mismanagement and greed with the seat fiasco and then beating the 18 game agenda like the fans want it. Dont get me wrong i love the NFL, but 18 games seriously this dude and the owners are in over their heads.

  18. To the 400 fans, hey suckers, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. The NFL has your money and you got the shaft. Get a lawyer and sue them all, the NFL and Jerry Jones personally. While your actual damages will only be a few thousand dollars (face value of the tix and perhaps travel expenses), the punitive damages could be several 100 thousand for each of you because all this was foreseeable and preventable with just a little common sense.

  19. “Powell also said the fans weren’t let on to the field until nearly all the players were off.”

    Well what the hell did he expect? Did he think he was going to be standing side by side with the Packers as they accepted the Lombardi Trophy? Maybe stand up on the podium with Aaron Rodgers when they announced him as MVP?? Or maybe he could have stood next to Mike McCarthy and helped him coach a little bit during the game?

    Dude, be grateful you even got on the field AT ALL. That doesn’t happen often.

    “The bartender, at his own discretion, gave a few of us some free drinks because he felt bad for us. But at halftime, the bartender said, ‘The tab is closed, you have to buy drinks now.”’

    Ohhh poor baby. You had to BUY your own drinks?!? Oh no! How dare they!!

    Listen, this was an unfortunate accident, but it happened. And IMO they NFL made the best of a terrible situation. So… take your $3K, your free merchandise, the free drinks you got, your very rare opportunity to even step foot on a SB field, and most importantly your SB Tix for next year and STFU!

  20. In my book everyone of those fans deserve a medal of honor and season tickets to the packers or steelers which ever one they were cheering for because I promise you if I would have been one of those 400 I would have been so livid I would have gotten thrown in jail for disorderly conduct

  21. The NFL and Goodell specifically have had far too many skeletons fall out of their closet this year. It has been a rather rough and embarrassing year for them, they can’t seem to do a damn thing right. Under Taglibue and Rosell, the NFL tried to remain in the background with the game of football being the focus however the chit seems to be hitting the fan this year and I don’t think Goodell is cut out for the job. Certain players get fined harsher than others, when is a hit a clean hit v. a dirty hit, they’ve went from putting skirts on the QB’s to putting tutu’s on all offensive players, trying to snare players with taking illegal supplements without telling them what is illegal, postponing games for the “fans safety” but yet letting the fiasco at the SB go on with the snow and ice, they fine Mike Tice for scalping SB tickets but yet they oversell tickets and then screw the fans……where the hell is Pete Rozelle when you need him. Straighten the crap out NFL or you will feel the wrath of the fans, just like baseball did.

  22. Wow – ‘lawyer up’ and ‘corporate greed.’ I guess all of you griping work for companies that have no desire to turn as big a profit as possible for their investors? I assume none of you have money invested in the stock market, or 401ks that have money invested in said market. When the market does well and your investments do better, do you gripe about greed then?

    What a bunch of crybabies. If you’re so upset at Goodell and think the NFL is so evil, quit watching it, quit buying tickets and take a principled stand against the greedy League. Four-hundred people had a bad time, yes, that sucks, but the end of the world it ain’t.

    Last I checked, no matter how crappy Dallas was as a host city, it was a great game – that’s all fans can and should hope for.

  23. The NFL, Goodell and Jerrah just keep digging themselves a deeper hole everytime they open their mouths. They’ve told so many lies that they can’t even remember what they said. I have a brother-in-law who with a few of his friends were among the “displaced 400” and they are getting more upset by the moment with all the lies the NFL is putting out there about how well they were treated and what has actually been offered. 3 times face value still doesn’t cover what the actually selling price of their tickets were, and they bought them from a legit ticket outlet, not a freakin’ scalper. Like my brother in law says, “I forked out almost 10G for the entire trip to see the Steelers…………”, he’s not interested in next years SB unless his Steelers are in it and what’s the odds of that. Free food and drink is a totally made up story by the NFL and as for being let down on the field afterwards with the players……didn’t happen. You would think the NFL, Goodell and Jerrah would all know that in this day n age, it’s much harder to cover something up.

  24. WOW!! I have to change my tune on this one. Originally I wasnt for the lawsuit because I thought they received a pretty fair compensation. But now after hearing this, I say SUE the crap out of them!!!! If they were treated that way while that POS Jerry Jones sat up in his nice luxury box with the primos, the NFL and Jerry Jones should be sued!!! I say stick it to the man!!!!!!!!

  25. The NFL’s believability is crumbling at the worst time for them. They lie with such ease. Public sentiment in the labor dispute will swing towards the union because we’ll all assume the NFL is lying about its position in the talks. If I were the union, I wouldn’t believe anything I hear from the NFL.

  26. It’s good that info that challenges the NFL’s spin is getting out there. How do you, Mr. Goodell have the guts to try to put a pleasant face on such a lapse of good judgment and incompetence. Rather, come out apologetically and do much more than you think you “have” to do to make this right.

    As a Patriots fan I can recall how Roger “The Dodger” Goodell blasted Bill Belichick for not coming right out with a full disclosure about the teams involvement in Spygate. (It was deserved punishment before the bashers get going!!!) How is this any different? Goodell, the NFL and the Cowboys organization have not come out and made a full diclosure about these events and if not the public they owe these people who spent in some cases probable a substantial sum of money to attend the game. Why did it happen? Who is to blame? Someone needs to take care of these fans. He is a disgrace and with all that has gone on this year alone he should be fired. He takes the fans of this game for granted and whilst we are all culpable for that it is extremely shoddy business to say the least.

  27. I eventually was able to sit in the temporary seating, but it seems the NFL is trying to cover up. People think they wrote us a check at the game or something, and to quit complaining. But try getting a hold of the NFL to get your money, it is impossible. When I heard they said they were offering tics to next years game, I said yeah right! They want us to send in our ticket stub to get the refund! You think I trust the NFL with the only proof I sat in those sections! I don’t think so!

  28. Medal of Honor? Really?? Let’s save that for the men and women of uniform. However I agree that I would have been livid too. NFL and or JJ has a major PR mess on their hands. Who cares about next year when they went to watch their team play in what may have been a once in a lifetime event. The NFL would have to increase their consolation to not only take care of all expenses but should make an open ended offer to let them go to the next SB their team plays in the future PLUS get them tickets for several home games. What a mess!

  29. Unless it was a life changing amount of money, there is no level compensation that would satisfy me for getting screwed like this. Maybe not for fans of the steelers, but for many teams, a trip to see your team in the superbowl could be a once in a lifetime event. For many fans, It could possibly be one of the highlight’s of their entire life.

    Getting 3x the ticket price back when you probably paid 3x the ticekt price, who cares, getting a ticekt to see 2 different teams next year you don’t care about, who cares.

    Getting a trip to a superbowl of your choice is interesting, but waiting for that one shot again after you could have seen it already would be terrible.

  30. It’s easy to concentrate on all the negatives, but how about the positives?

    The jumbotron gets in the way of punts, they apparently had a separate broadcast on the screen that was loud and annoying as if the game wasn’t loud enough, and the surface stinks and guys were slipping left and right.

    You need to look at the good as well as the bad.

  31. I love the NFL, but I’m glad to see them taking one on the chin here. Their greed will eventually eat away the fan base. The middle class is dying, and there eventually won’t be enough rich people to sell out the stadium. Ticket prices are WAY too high, and eventually the market will find other ways to spend money. Blackouts won’t work as long as the internet is not heavily regulated, as people will always find ways to watch the games.

  32. I got a great idea. A Will Farrell movie, like Talladega Nights. Will stars as “Ricky Bobby Goodell” and Jerry Jones played by the John C. Reilly who played Ricky’s buddy.
    Or, “The Return of the Jerk”-Steve Martin as the Commish-aka “The Jerk”. It’s a hysterical premise for a comedy. Too bad Laurel and Hardy or the Three Stooges are no longer with us.

  33. to change the subject here for a minute – Clint Eastwood is making a movie about the life of J. Edgar Hoover and the lead part is played by Leonardo Di Caprio.

    I am NOT making this up – I just thought you all could use a good laugh.

    my work here is done

  34. It sucks for these people but really did you think that no matter what the NFL did that these guys would ever be happy? If they gave them season tickets to their local team or even a million bucks they would still complain. Yes the NFL screwed up but seriously mistakes happen all the time and the issue with mistakes is nobody every takes ownership of them at least the NFL is owning up to their mistake ! I’m pretty sure in hindsight they would have done all they could to prevent this but really with all the weather issues we should blame mother nature !

  35. I have 2 issues with this incident.

    First, if it’s true, as reported, that the NFL knew about this problem a week in advance of the game, why didn’t they notify the ticketholders, make the offers to them (reimbursement x 3 and free tickets to next year’s game) and save them the expense and hassle of traveling / lodging / dining? If they didn’t know who owned the tickets, they could have made a public announcement with the locations of the affected seats in news publications. It’s one thing to encounter the safety issue, but not notifying the people in advance (or at least trying to do so) is highly inconsiderate and worthy of all troubles that, hopefully, will beset them in the near future.

    Secondly, if Goodell or jerk face Jones were ever presented with a similar situation that affected them in this manner, you can be sure that they would fill the sky with lawyers immediately and begin suing the responsible parties. After all, they are royalty, aren’t they? Therefore, they should expect the same actions by the offended parties.

    I’d love to see them all lose some bucks for this fiasco. But, I’m sure in the end, it will be ruled in their favor.

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