Super Bowl Seating Trial Underway; Angry Fans Claim NFL Greedy
On Monday, March 2, a jury was selected and the trial finally began in the 2011 Super Bowl seating snafu lawsuit that was brought by eight plaintiffs seeking damages for their unsatisfactory experience at the game
In 2011, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl held in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington Texas. Some ticket holding patrons, however, missed it. The eight plaintiffs in this lawsuit, in addition to 200 other plaintiffs in a second pending lawsuit, are suing the NFL because they either didn’t get the seat they were promised at the Super Bowl, or they didn’t get any seat at all.
The Dallas Cowboys constructed temporary seating in their stadium to increase ticket sales. Only hours before the game, the fire officials determined that 1,200 of those seats were unsafe for use. The NFL then scrambled to find adequate seating for these patrons who spent thousands of dollars in travelling from across the country to attend the game. As some didn’t even get a seat, the plaintiffs here argue the NFL failed to honor the tickets they had purchased.
The NFL did seek to reimburse the snubbed fans by offering refunds for triple the ticket value, a ticket to the next Super Bowl, $5,000 in reimbursements, and ticket and travel expenses to another Super Bowl. The plaintiffs felt that wasn’t enough.
The Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones were able to get out of the suit last August, however, the NFL is still liable for the ticket holders’ unsatisfactory experience. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to testify any day now, and Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones will likely testify later in the week.
In their opening argument, the plaintiffs’ attorney blamed the seating fiasco on the NFL’s “ego, greed and gross incompetence,” claiming that the NFL knew it was selling unsafe seating but maintained to break attendance records. The NFL sought pity from the jury noting it did not intend for anyone to have a bad experience and that the NFL is willing to pay what the plaintiffs lost through the experience, but not a dollar more.