NFL executive Eric Grubman summed up the fan situation surrounding Super Bowl 45 as “Awful” following the farcical treatment of several hundred fans who never got the seats they paid for. His comments could have been aimed at much of the event with the National Anthem fiasco and the disapointing half time show not really adding to what was a lest than spectacular final.
Game apart the furor surrounds several planned temporary seats at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, which weren’t ready in time, forcing some fans to move and others to watch the game on monitors. To their credit the league has come up with a number of different ways to compensate displaced fans, but the situation has already brought forth lawsuits including those by Two Green Bay Packers fans, alleging fraud, breach of contract and negligence. There is also a class-action suit filed collectively against the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones alleging breach of contract, fraud and deceptive sales practices.
This second one really should be against Jerry Jones who in an ego boosting move was determined to break the Super Bowl attendance record, and as owner and ultimate decision maker should carry the can.
Nothing short of a time machine can fully compensate for what has happened to the fans who missed out, however given the generous compensation packages offered by the League and the fact that there is a fairly good chance that both teams will be back in the Super Bowl within the next 5 years or so, then the law suits look a little bit like overkill and I am sure that a bit of a sweetener will avoid expensive litigation. Had it been one of the less successful franchises such as the 2007 finalists the Arizona Cardinals that this had happened to then I would have supported legal action fully.
With the NFL embroiled in player negotiations lets hope this side show is sorted quickly so they can get back to the equally serious business of ensuring we have a 2011 season to look forward to.