ARLINGTON, Texas - Several area Packers fans were among those shorted in a seating controversy at Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV.
More than 1,200 angry fans were put in a holding area for several hours Sunday while the NFL tried to figure out what to do with their seats on a temporary structure that was ruled unsafe before the game. The league was able to find replacement seats for about 850 fans. The other 400 were taken into the basement of the stadium and watched the game on televisions.
"It was crushing," said Rebecca Schmidt of Kaukauna, who was left without a seat. "I figured I could have could have stayed home and saved a lot of money from where I was watching the game from."
The NFL says it knew last week there were problems with installing the temporary seating. However, it hoped they could be fixed until hours before kickoff.
"It's something that we've been taking very seriously, working at it," said Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We apologize to those fans that were impacted by this. We are going to work with them and we are going to do better in the future."
Goodell has said the NFL will give those fans who did not get seats tickets to next year's Super Bowl, as well as three-times face value for the tickets.
However, many fans paid more than face value and will still be out money.
"I paid $2,600 at Ticket King for my tickets," said Pete Damico of Ellison Bay. "Three times $800 and I'm still going to be a little bit short of my investment."
Damico was able to find two empty seats on his own after the game had started. He says he and others have started a class action lawsuit against the NFL.
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