Tuesday, February 8, 2011 , Updated 10:24 a.m., February 16, 2011
UPDATED: Jerry Jones apologizes to fans without a seat at Super Bowl XLV
He also addresses the "challenges presented by Mother Nature."
All eyes were on Cowboys Stadium last week as it was set to host Super Bowl XLV for the first time. Pressure was on to have a good first run, with hopes that the cavernous venue would be a good site for future Super Bowls.
Then the ice hit. And the snow. None of those things were the North Texas Host Committee's fault, but it certainly put a damper on what was supposed to be the biggest weekend in recent North Texas history.
After a few people were injured from falling ice at Cowboys Stadium and then 400 people went seat-less at the Super Bowl, the struggles leading up to the Super Bowl became national news. An article on dallascowboys.com called those slip-ups "a few unforeseen bumps in the road" but also noted that the Packers/Steelers game was the most watched TV show in history.
Jones issued a statement on the website Monday evening describing what happened to those 400 seat-less people. He says he and his team "share [the] responsibility with the NFL":
The incomplete installation of temporary seats left a limited number of sections unusable for yesterday's game. Manpower and timing issues caused inconveniences to some fans. At the end of the preparations, approximately 400 fans attending the game were not able to watch from those installed seats. We deeply regret their Super Bowl experience was impacted by this error, and we share that responsibility with the NFL.
We will also continue to work closely with the NFL in its complete review of Super Bowl XLV. At the end of the day, the game on the field, and the stadium where it was played, exceeded the high level of expectation that the Super Bowl presents. It was a great game in a great venue, and it was an experience that will begin the process of bringing future Super Bowls to North Texas. Our region displayed the type of tremendous commitment of resources, services, enthusiasm, and hospitality that validates our community as a most worthy home to this wonderful event in the years to come.
Our collective goals all along were to ensure that more than 103,000 people would be able to have an enjoyable game day experience on Super Bowl Sunday while also being a part of an event that ultimately produced the largest television audience for any program ever.
We are very proud of the collective efforts of all of the North Texas communities that worked tirelessly to present this event in a very successful manner. It was an effort that also involved overcoming some challenges presented by Mother Nature that had an effect on not only our region, but millions of people all over the country. In addition, we cannot say enough about the level of help and cooperation the City of Arlington provided us during our Super Bowl planning and game presentation.
UPDATE: The Star-Telegram reports that the 400 fans have now been offered even more money. They will receive "either $5,000 or reimbursement for 'actual documented' Super Bowl expenses, whichever figure is higher."
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