Don't expect to see many more six figure crowds at Arlington's answer to the Taj Mahal. Arlington assistant fire chief Don Crowson told the Dallas Morning News that the Cowboyshave agreed to limit the number of $29 Party Pass tickets available for most games to 10,000 after authorities weren't able to control the crowds that swarmed JerryWorld for the opening game on Sunday night.
With more than 30,000 fans holding standing room tickets converging on them, guards realized that if they continued trying to control the flow of fans into the stadium they could have a riot on their hands.
"We believe that it was a better decision to go ahead and let people in versus confronting them in a situation out the plaza based on the how the crowd dynamic was evolving," Crowson said.
That was also presumably easier than trying to explain to the 30,000 Party Pass holders that they weren't actually entitled to a spot inside the stadium during the game. Lost in all the breathless press about how JerryWorld would hold more than 100,000 fans and how the $29 pass would give ordinary Joes a chance to see the inside of the eighth wonder of the world was the fact that the pass didn't entitle the holder to go anywhere beyond the plazas outside the stadium doors.
The Cowboys say that they sent an email outlining that fact to the huddled masses yearning to be free to roam the halls of JerryWorld, and Crowson seemed to point the finger of blame on fans when he said that he believed "people understood what a Party Pass entailed." All of that may be true, but when you look back to what Jerry Jones said when the team announced they were selling the new ticket option it becomes easy to understand why people might have thought they were buying a chance to enter the stadium.
"More fans can be at the stadium and, although they won’t all have a seat, they will definitely be a part of the action and experience on game day,” Jones said.
He does say at, as opposed to in, the stadium, but how many people are really going to hear that and think standing by a screen in a plaza outside the stadium constitutes the action and experience of game day?
Probably a lot less than the 30,000 who were there on Sunday night, which is why the true conditions of the Party Pass were mentioned only in passing until Jones got the NFL attendance record he wanted.